Biologists from the Fish and Wildlife Branch at Fort Stewart and from the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division recently captured two female and one male red-cockaded woodpeckers at the massive Army base. The juvenile woodpeckers were taken to Moody Forest Natural Area 30 miles away and released early the next morning.
The goal: Help save Moody Forest’s population of the federally endangered birds from disappearing. The population at the natural area could not go much lower — it was down to a single male. Translocation of juvenile woodpeckers is a proven technique in helping small populations grow to more sustainable levels.
The effort was made possible by months of work at both sites. The habitat at Moody Forest is being restored primarily through the careful reintroduction of fire into the system. At Fort Stewart, extensive habitat management, banding and monitoring led to the availability of these young birds, even after the base had met its voluntary commitments for providing woodpeckers to several other recipient sites.