by edash96
Last updated 8 years ago

Earth Sciences

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Endangered species in NC

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Red cockated wood pecker (Picoides borealis)A small bird measuring about 7 inches in length. Identifiable by its white cheek patch and black and white barred back, the males have a few red feathers, or "cockade". These red feathers usually remain hidden underneath black feathers between the black crown and white cheek patch unless the male is disturbed or excited. Female RCWs lack the red cockade. Juvenile males have a red 'patch' in the center of their black crown. This patch disappears during the fall of their first year at which time their 'red-cockades' appear.

The loss of suitable habitat has caused the number of RCWs to decline by approximately 99% since the time of European settlement. The primary habitat of the RCW, the longleaf pine ecosystem, has been reduced to 3% of its original expanse. Many RCW populations were stabilized during the 1990’s due to management based on new understanding of RCW biology and population dynamics. However, there are still populations in decline and small populations throughout the species' current range are still in danger of extirpation.



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