Though small among its woodpecker relatives, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker poses a huge dilemma for its human neighbors. Uniquely adapted to live in the old-growth pine forests of the southeastern United States, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker has nearly disappeared as the forests have been cleared for agricultural, commercial, and residential uses over the last two centuries. Today, it waits at a crossroads. Scientific management practices could restore the woodpecker's habitat and population, but the imperative to convert old-growth forests to other uses remains.
In this book, three of the leading experts on the Red-cockaded Woodpecker offer a comprehensive overview of all that is currently known about its biology and natural history and about the ecology of the fire-maintained forests it requires for survival. As the most visible endangered species in the Southeast, and the one whose conservation impacts the largest land area, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker holds a compelling interest not only for ornithologists, but also for wildlife managers, foresters, developers, environmentalists, and government officials. For all of these groups, this book will be the essential resource for learning more about the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and ensuring its survival.