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Using science to restore habitat for declining species

The following are leads for stories on ongoing Forest Service research to restore habitat for the Louisiana pine snake, red-cockaded woodpecker, cerulean warbler, Indiana bat, American eel, and North American freshwater mussels.

Louisiana Pine Snake Louisiana pine snake, a species of conservation concern, is associated with the longleaf pine forests of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Craig Rudolph uses radiotelemetry and other methods to study this elusive snake, which many experts believe to be the rarest vertebrate in the United States. Louisiana pine snakes prey mainly on pocket gophers, using their burrows to hibernate. Alteration of the fire regime in the longleaf pine ecosystem in the West Gulf Coastal Plain has led to a decline in the plants that support the pocket gopher, which in turn has led to population declines of the Louisiana pine snake. Roads have also had a significant effect. Habitats are fragmented, and large numbers of snakes are killed by vehicles: data from a recent study suggests that impacts may extend several hundred meters from the road itself.
Recent article: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/about/newsrelease/nr_2004-04-30-pinesnakes.htm
CONTACT: Craig Rudolph, Research Ecologist. (936-569-7981) or crudolph01@fs.fed.us

Red-Cockaded Woodpecker The red-cockaded woodpecker was also once a common sight in the southern United States, before logging and the alteration of the fire regime reduced the original longleaf pine habitat of the bird. Designated as endangered in 1970, red-cockaded woodpeckers are uniquely adapted to the fire-maintained southern pine ecosystem and require large, living pine trees for nesting. SRS researcher Richard Conner focuses on the ecology, habitat, and behavior of these cavity-nesting birds. When excavating its nest, the red-cockaded woodpecker pe
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Contact: Zoe Hoyle
zhoyle@fs.fed.us
828-257-4388
Southern Research Station - USDA Forest Service
10-May-2004


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