Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.24(1). (2016) p.42-54.

The Middle-spotted Woodpecker Leiopicus medius in the Basque Country, Northern Spain: review of current ecological status
José María Fernández-García

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Despite previous inventories and atlas of the avifauna in the Basque Country, Nor­thern Spain, the dense population of the Middle-spotted Woodpecker Leiopicus medius in the Izki forest was not discovered until the 1990’s. This population mainly occupies a 3,700 ha Quercus pyrenaica fo­rest, showing an average density of 0.89 territories/10 ha. The occurrence and abundance of territories is positively associated to the density of large caducifolious Quercus trees (>35 cm diameter). While nesting trees are appa­rently easily available, large trees for foraging could be a more limiting resource, given the historical exploitation regime of the forest. There are several other massifs in the region with smaller populations, but the functional connecti­vity, demographic and dispersal dynamics relating the core Izki and the peripheral areas have not been investigated. The conservation relevance of the Izki population in the Spanish context is high and given the need to understand the effects of forest management, future research should include spatial ecology, breeding performance as well as population monitoring.