Ornis Hungarica. vol.30(2). (2022) p.1-9.
Testing different isolation distances in woodpecker territory mapping in Central Hungary
Woodpeckers as cavity excavators are crucial in forest ecosystems, therefore, it is important to study their ecological needs, specifically at the territory scale, using mapping methodologies, of which there are uncertainties considering detection probabilities and the distances of the territory centres in different species and habitats. We studied the effects of the number of visits and isolation distance on detected woodpecker territories in the 1,000 ha forest mosaic of the Peszér forest in Central Hungary. We made territory mapping in 2020 along existing trails and forest roads on the present woodpecker species as Black, Eurasian Green, Great Spotted, Middle Spotted, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Eurasian Wryneck. We found a very low detection probability for single territories during one visit, while with the increasing number of visits it is more unlikely to overlook territories. Considering the isolation distances, by lowering the distance, more territories can be registered, which suggests that researchers should take great care choosing the proper distance for a given species whilst avoiding the over- or underestimation of territories.
This paper has an actuality as BirdLife Hungary announced the Eurasian Green Woodpecker as the Bird of the Year in 2022, for drawing attention to this species’ habitat preferences and conservation.