Long Leaf Pine – RCW

Science Diary: Long Leaf Pine – RCW

Music; Ambience: walking in forest

McCullough: “This is an area we started marking yesterday. Our goal is to restore Long Leaf Pine. One of the other things, more important things, is that we are trying to restore and maintain habitat for the endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker.”

When you manage an ecosystem to aid a particular species, it often ends up benefiting many other species as well. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Howard McCullough is a Forestry Technician in Georgia’s Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The Long Leaf Pines he’s helping to restore once thrived in millions of acres from Virginia to Texas, but now they cover a tiny fraction of that same range.

“So although there are a lot of other endangered species, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is kind of our keystone species in terms of what drives our forest management here on the refuge. It is the only woodpecker that will nest in live pines. It prefers Long Leaf Pine because of a decay that Long Leaf has called Red Heart, which occurs in the center of the tree, the heart of the tree, and makes it easier for the bird to get in and excavate its cavity.”

The Long Leaf Pine heals easily and typically isn’t harmed by woodpeckers’ cavity nests.

“The Red-cockaded will use any other pine species, but it does nest in live trees only. The Long Leaf Pine ecosystem has something in order of 108 different species of plants in it. Anything we do for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is good for Indigo Snake which is also endangered Gopher Tortoise, even the game species such as Bob White quail and White Tailed Deer, or turkey or Black Bear. I mean, they love a Long Leaf Pine forest.”

Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Long Leaf Pine - RCW

Restoration of the Long Leaf Pine ecosystem at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is central to the survival of an endangered woodpecker.
Air Date:07/13/2015
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Transcript:

Science Diary: Long Leaf Pine - RCW

Music; Ambience: walking in forest

McCullough: "This is an area we started marking yesterday. Our goal is to restore Long Leaf Pine. One of the other things, more important things, is that we are trying to restore and maintain habitat for the endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker."

When you manage an ecosystem to aid a particular species, it often ends up benefiting many other species as well. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Howard McCullough is a Forestry Technician in Georgia's Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The Long Leaf Pines he's helping to restore once thrived in millions of acres from Virginia to Texas, but now they cover a tiny fraction of that same range.

"So although there are a lot of other endangered species, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is kind of our keystone species in terms of what drives our forest management here on the refuge. It is the only woodpecker that will nest in live pines. It prefers Long Leaf Pine because of a decay that Long Leaf has called Red Heart, which occurs in the center of the tree, the heart of the tree, and makes it easier for the bird to get in and excavate its cavity."

The Long Leaf Pine heals easily and typically isn't harmed by woodpeckers' cavity nests.

"The Red-cockaded will use any other pine species, but it does nest in live trees only. The Long Leaf Pine ecosystem has something in order of 108 different species of plants in it. Anything we do for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is good for Indigo Snake which is also endangered Gopher Tortoise, even the game species such as Bob White quail and White Tailed Deer, or turkey or Black Bear. I mean, they love a Long Leaf Pine forest."

Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.