A sneak peek on the upcoming results of the comparison studies regarding the declining Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) in Scania, Sweden

University essay from Lunds universitet/Examensarbeten i biologi

Author: Natalie Danielsson; [2018]

Keywords: Biology and Life Sciences;

Abstract: In recent years the populations of the lesser spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) has been declining in Sweden. Many other species, like for example the marsh tit (Poecile palustris), depend on woodland structures that the lesser spotted woodpecker creates such as nesting holes. I did a comparison study between data from The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Project made in 1980’s and my own recently collected data. With this information the following three questions regarding the lesser spotted woodpecker: i) Is there any change in suitable habitat area? ii) Has the presence of lesser spotted woodpecker changed since the last inventory? iii) What has changed regarding the forest composition in the squares where the lesser spotted woodpecker does not occur anymore? In addition to these questions I will also answer the following two questions regarding the marsh tit: iv) Does the marsh tit occur in the same areas as the lesser spotted woodpeckers? v) Does the size of the connected suitable habitat area differ whether the marsh tit is present or not? Mainly the same field work was performed as in The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Project (1985). By taking a closer look at the localities where the lesser spotted woodpecker today is absent some changes in woodland structures could be detected such as a decline in old forests and area of suitable habitat. To be able to help the lesser spotted woodpecker to regain their viability conservational work should focus on preserving old forests with dead trees and forest management should make sure that today and future forests contain a full range of growth stages. By protecting the lesser spotted woodpeckers habitat both they and other species such as the marsh tit will benefit.

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