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Habitat and Compatible Land Use

Habitat and Compatible Land Use

Aerial view of a pine stand

Red-cockaded woodpeckers are found in open park-like pine forests maintained by periodic fire. They require at least 75 acres for nesting and feeding.

Pine stands unsuitable for red-cockaded woodpeckers can be restored to a suitable condition using proper habitat management such as:

  • Recurring prescribed burns
  • Lengthening pine timber rotations
  • Thinning and maintaining pine stands
  • Midstory and overstory hardwood control
  • Planting longleaf pine or south Florida slash on appropriate sites
  • Installing and maintaining artificial cavities

Management of red-cockaded woodpecker habitat can be compatible with other land uses including timber harvesting, cattle production or quail management.

Florida's Safe Harbor Program is sensitive to landowners wanting to use their property for economic benefit or personal use. FWC staff will work with landowners to develop a plan to enhance the habitat in line with the owner's land management objectives.