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BRINKMAN C, UBELS B & VERVOORT M (2018) Predation of Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius nests by Pine Marten Martes martes - an overlooked phenomenon?. LIMOSA 91 (4): 181-184.

In the Netherlands, the population of Black Woodpecker has been decreasing during the last decades. Therefore, we studied the quality of the Natura 2000-area Brabantse Wal as a breeding area for Black Woodpeckers. Although it is assumed that the recent overgrowth by grass has a negative effect on the foraging success of Black Woodpeckers in the area, predation by Pine Marten may contribute to their population decline. We recorded the predation of a Black Woodpecker nest by a Pine Marten using a camera trap mounted above the nest entrance. Based on the presence of feather remains, we concluded that a second nest was probably also predated by Pine Marten. If indeed two out of a total of five nests were predated, the importance of this predator species could hitherto have been underestimated. We acknowledge that it is difficult to determine the actual impact of Pine Marten predation on the population of Black Woodpeckers based on just one or two observations. However, in view of the recent increase of Pine Martens in the Netherlands, predation by Pine Martens could at least be considered as a possible factor impacting Black Woodpecker populations.

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limosa 91.4 2018
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