A Stillness in the Pines: The Ecology of the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

A Stillness in the Pines: The Ecology of the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

by Robert W. McFarlane
     
 
From eastern Texas the remnants of a once-magnificent forest, nurtured by moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, extend a thousand miles to the Atlantic shore and as far north as Chesapeake Bay. This unique woodland gave birth to two woodpeckers, one large--the ivory-billed woodpecker, which has not been sighted in over ten years and which is almost surely extinct--and the

Overview

From eastern Texas the remnants of a once-magnificent forest, nurtured by moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, extend a thousand miles to the Atlantic shore and as far north as Chesapeake Bay. This unique woodland gave birth to two woodpeckers, one large--the ivory-billed woodpecker, which has not been sighted in over ten years and which is almost surely extinct--and the other small--the red-cockaded woodpecker, which may yet be saved.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With this carefully reasoned brief for the protection of the red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered bird native to the pinewoods of the Southeastern U.S., biologist McFarlane combines ecology and activism. His approach makes the book a pleasing contrast to those technical treatments of the ecology of animals and plants that ignore human encroachment, as well as those picture books and essays long on sentiment but short on information about the reasons behind the conflicting needs of foresters and birds. Science, however, is difficult to present, and lay readers will have to wade through unfamiliar terminology (``desiccation-resistant,'' ``tarsi,'' ``homologous'') and research reports. Yet the rewards are ample, for the author brings us closer to ``viewinging the world from the perspective of a woodpecker'' and successfully documents that the plight of the red-cockaded woodpecker is attributable to the Forest Service's failure to follow the mandates of the Endangered Species Act. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
This commendable book tells the story of the decline of the red-cockaded woodpecker, a specialized inhabitant of mature Southeastern pine forests. McFarlane, a veteran professional ornithologist, is also a good writer with a fine sense of outrage and humor. Drawing from his research and that of many others, he engagingly summarizes the history of Southern forestry and lumbering, which, combined with the special requirements of these birds, threatens them with extinction. Along the way, the practices of several federal agencies, industry, and politicians come in for rigorous scrutiny. McFarlane also expertly describes the biology and life history of the red-cockaded and other woodpeckers. Complicating an already complex situation, in 1989 Hurricane Hugo devastated the habitat of the largest remaining population of these unique birds. A fascinating story, well told.-- Henry T. Armistead, Thomas Jefferson Univ. Lib., Philadelphia

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393030662
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/1992
Series:
Commonwealth Fund Book Program Series
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

For over fifteen years the ornithologist Robert W. McFarlane has been involved—as researcher, expert witness, negotiator, and advocate—in the struggle to save the red-cockaded woodpecker. In this book he explains what is at stake.

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