Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 53/2 | 2016 | 69-82

  Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius holes: host species and predation by Marten Martes
martes
during nesting and autumn-winter
Laurent Colmant

Article is not available in pdf French article available for download in 2018

Article summary

A ten years study of 85 holes of Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius in the Ardenne and Calestienne in southern Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse (Namur, Belgium) totals 665 controls during spring and as much in autumn-winter. 13 hosts species were observed in 63% of controls during the spring period. In autumn-winter, 9 species using holes as night shelter were observed in 55 % of controls. Throughout the year, hosts species change or their proportion in holes changes. The Black Woodpecker is observed as breeder in 8,7 % controls and roosting in 2 % of others controls. During autumn-winter, he is observed roosting in 32 % controls. Excess holes would be a response to the need of the species throughout the year but it would also bear interspecific competition for nest site or for the night shelter. These excess holes would reduce predation without excluding it. Indeed, predations by marten Martes martes are observed during nesting and autumn-winter. The observations support the conclusion that predator-prey cycles unfold between Black Woodpecker, host species and Marten.

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