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Black-backed Woodpecker – Petition for Endangered Status


Forest fires have always been perceived as “bad”, with many campaigns, programs and advertisements telling and retelling everyone of its risks and dangers.

For the black-backed woodpecker though, post fire environments are the source of a worthy feasts, with treats taking shape in beetle larvae found in burned trees.

Its penchant for such has led to the first federal petition, ever, in seeking recognition of the protection of post-fire habitats, as experts would share.
With four conservation groups filing a petition to the US Interior Department to include the black-backed woodpecker in the Endangered Species Act (in Sierra Nevada, Black Hills of Eastern Wyoming, and Oregon’s Eastern Cascades), burned habitat protection is an eventual on-the rise concern in keeping black-back woodpecker populations in check.

Apart from forest fire suppression protocols, the post-fire salvage operations of logging industries add to the decline of the post-fire habitat needs of the woodpecker, combined with the decline and thinning of green forests in national forests.

"Intensely burned forest habitat not only has no legal protection, but standard practice on private and public lands is to actively eliminate it,” – a quote, taken from the petition.

"When fire and insect outbreaks create excellent woodpecker habitat, salvage logging promptly destroys it."

The black-backed woodpecker is known to have had its fire-killed beetle tastes for millions of years, picking them out from conifer forests in the North American forest areas.

A threat to its natural habitat stands to threaten the species capacity to live on, with a number of experts sharing that it’d be rather reckless to neglect the species’ habitat considerations, given that they’ve been around since the Ice Ages.

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