Multi-scale nest survival analysis suggests new cavities improve nest success for the Green-barred Woodpecker, but not the Campo Flicker, in a threatened woodland of Argentina Análisis multiescala de la supervivencia de nidos de Colaptes melanochloros, pero no de C. campestris, sugieren que las cavidades nuevas mejoran el éxito reproductivo en un bosque amenazado de Argentina
JAUREGUI, ADRIÁN; GONZALEZ, EXEQUIEL; SEGURA, LUCIANO N.
COOPER ORNITHOLOGICAL SOC
Año: 2022 vol. 124
Understanding factors affecting nest survival of woodpeckers in threatened landscapes is a key tool for land managers, particularly when conservation depends on public policies. However, information of Neotropical woodpeckers breeding in southern temperate forests is noticeably sparse despite the worrying conservation status of these ecosystems and woodpeckers key role as cavity providers. Our objective was to assess the relationship between tree cavity features, vegetation structure, and landscape configuration on the nest survival of the Green-barred Woodpecker (Colaptes melanochloros) and the Campo Flicker (C. campestris). We monitored nests of these woodpeckers during 3 breeding seasons from 2015 to 2018 in a woodland of east-central Argentina threatened by selective tree logging and soil material extraction. We recorded features that presumably influence nest survival at a micro-scale (cavity, cavity-tree features, and foliage cover around the cavity) and a macro-scale (forest cover and shape index within a 500-m circle around the nest). We did not find support for a relationship between daily nest survival rates (DSR) and cavity features, vegetation structure, or landscape configuration. However, new cavities were more successful than reused ones for the Green-barred Woodpecker. We also found a surprisingly high rate (~33% of nest failures) of nest abandonment for both species. Abandonment may be a factor regulating this population and causes of abandonment warrants further investigation. Given the importance of new cavities to the success of Green-barred Woodpeckers, our results indicate the preservation of medium-size trees (20 cm < diameter at breast height [DBH] < 50 cm) with wood softened by degradation processes (preferred by the species to excavate cavities) would facilitate persistence both of this woodpecker and the cavity nesting community. Effective audit of soil material extraction and controlled selective timber logging practices (including preservation of mature trees) in compliance with existing regulations could contribute to this type of habitat maintenance.