The Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW), an endangered species under the U.S. Federal Government’s Endangered Species Act of 1973, makes its home amongst the longleaf pine forests of the American southeast. Biologists from Colorado State University‘s Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) are helping Fort Polk, a US Army training installation in west-central Louisiana, ensure the bird’s survival. Through banding efforts that track the bird’s population as well as the installation of artificial nesting cavities, RCW populations have grown since the 1970’s and 80’s to the point that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is considering downlisting the species to “threatened.”

CEMML Threatened & Endangered Species Biologist, Chris Melder, and Conservation Outreach Specialist, Amy Brennan, provide an overview of RCW conservation efforts at Fort Polk.

Footage of the RCW in this video was generously provided by Larry Bond (
Video recording and editing by Tim Schommer.
Introduction voiceover by Tiffany Schommer.

Special thanks to U.S. Army JRTC & Fort Polk, home of the Joint Readiness Training Center, for their partnership and support.

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