Authors: JERZY MICHALCZUK, MONIKA MICHALCZUK
Abstract: The number and habitat preferences of Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus and Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major was assessed in 2004-2015 in a 305 km2 area of SE Poland. An assessment of the number of breeding pairs of these sympatric species was carried out in the nonforest tree stands of the agricultural landscape, which consisted of a total area of 41.7 km2. A significant decrease in the density of Syrian Woodpeckers was noted, from 12.2 to 3.8 (down to 31%) breeding pairs/10 km2 nonforest tree stands, whereas the density of Great Spotted Woodpeckers increased from 0.7 to 1.7 (ca. 140%) breeding pairs/10 km2 nonforest tree stands. Syrian Woodpeckers mainly inhabited afforestations located outside of parks (91%, N = 99), whereas Great Spotted Woodpeckers were much more likely to inhabit territories within parks (47%, N = 15). The frequency with which Great Spotted Woodpeckers inhabited parks increased as the density of Syrian Woodpeckers decreased in the study area and as the area of tree cover increased within parks. The increase in the number of Great Spotted Woodpecker breeding territories in the nonforest tree stands of the study area probably resulted from their recolonization of this habitat, enabled by the decrease of the Syrian Woodpecker population.
Keywords: Primary hole nesters, habitat preferences, rural landscape, afforestations
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