Sunday, 10 October 2010

Keystone Species

Many woodpeckers can be regarded as so-called "keystone species". This term refers to the role they play in providing nesting, denning and roosting sites for other wildlife. Woodpeckers are "primary hole-users", meaning they excavate their own holes. Species that cannot do this, but which use holes created by others, are known as "secondary cavity-users". Black Woodpecker is Europe's largest primary excavator and is an important bird as it provides tree-holes for many other animals such as Stock Dove (as in photo here by Laszlo Becsy in Hungary), Jackdaw, Tawny and Tengmalm's Owls, mammals such as Red Squirrel, Pine Marten, dormice, various bats and even bees, wasps and other insects. 

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