Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
FIA Project 4885007

    Nesting Habitat Selection by Williamson's Sapsucker in British Columbia 2008/09
Project lead: Marcie Belcher (Tembec)
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
The Williamson's sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) is a medium-sized woodpecker that breeds in mixed conifer forests of western North America. Within Canada, the range of Williamsonís sapsucker is restricted to the southern interior of British Columbia, and the species was recently listed as endangered, based primarily on low population numbers and the rate of habitat loss of mature western larch (Larix occidentalis) forests. We conducted a resource selection analysis to determine the habitat features that best explain the probability of occurrence of Williamsonís sapsucker nests at two geographic regions within its present area of occurrence. Probability of nest occurrence was strongly tied to densities of potential nest trees, which were older-aged trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) and Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in the Western Region, and open forests with large diameter (diameter-at-breast-height >57.5 cm) western larch in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region. These results can be used to inform this identification and protection of critical habitat as required by the Species at Risk Act in Canada. In particular, management should focus protection of aspen stands within proximity of Ponderosa pine forests, and on the maintenance and recruitment of a veteran layer of western larch trees.
Contact: Marcie Belcher, 250-426-9210,

Updated August 16, 2010 

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