The middle spotted woodpecker is a Pyrenean oak wood resident in Izki with notable densities of up to 25 individuals/km2, which is approximately 20% of the numbers in the Iberian Peninsula. Izki plays an important role in the conservation of this species both in quantitative terms and to act as a link between the populations of the Cantabrian Mountains and the Pyrenees.

During the project’s first two years a detailed census will be conducted of the middle spotted woodpecker individuals and an inventory of used and abandoned cavities. The radio-monitoring of previously captured and tagged individuals will allow to approximate the selection of the habitat at different levels (landscape, patch, tree), and determine which factors drive the population’s demography.

Once the population dynamic and the habitat’s characteristics have been established, forestry labour is carried out to recreate the adequate forest structures for the nesting and feeding of the middle spotted woodpecker and the validity of these actions are evaluated based on the occupation by new middle spotted woodpecker couples.

Why it is done

Although it is estimated that the population of the middle spotted woodpecker in the Pyrenean oak of Izki represents a high percentage of the Iberian Peninsula numbers, an exhaustive study has not been conducted to date of the number of individuals, neither has a characterisation of the trees they prefer to nest in been conducted. Neither has their environmental space been recognized nor is there a characterisation of the work area which allows for the identification of the heterogeneity or the distinct patch of land that the species favours.

In order to favour the expansion of the middle spotted woodpecker throughout the Pyrenean oak wood of Izki, it is necessary to manage the area, environmental criteria for a positive selection of determined tress, based on species, size, phytosanitary state, etc.