Postfire woodpecker foraging in salvage-logged and unlogged forests of the Sierra Nevada

TitlePostfire woodpecker foraging in salvage-logged and unlogged forests of the Sierra Nevada
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHanson, CT
Secondary AuthorsNorth, MP
JournalThe Condor
Start Page777
Keywordsfish and wildlife habitat, technical reports and journal articles

In forests, high-severity burn patches—wherein
most or all of the trees are killed by fire—often occur within a
mosaic of low- and moderate-severity effects. Although there
have been several studies of postfire salvage-logging effects on
bird species, there have been few studies of effects on bird species
associated with high-severity patches in forests that have
otherwise burned at lower severities. From 2004 to 2006, we investigated
the foraging presence or absence of three woodpecker
species, the Black-backed (Picoides arcticus), Hairy (P. villosus),
and White-headed (P. albolarvatus) Woodpeckers, within
four different forest habitat conditions in Sierra Nevada conifer
forests: unburned; moderate-severity and unlogged; highseverity
and unlogged; and high-severity and logged. We found
Black-backed Woodpecker foraging was restricted to unlogged
high-severity patches. Hairy Woodpeckers foraged most in unlogged
high-severity patches, and White-headed Woodpeckers
showed no significant difference in presence among conditions.
These results suggest that unlogged, high-severity forest is important
habitat for the Black-backed and Hairy Woodpeckers.