Monday, December 30, 2013

Invasive Mink Preys on Magellanic Woodpeckers on Navarino Island in Southern Chile

Here's a great video of a female Magellanic Woodpecker excavating a cavity.

In a recent study, Jaime Jiménez and his research colleagues document predation of Magellanic Woodpeckers by invasive American minks on Navarino Island in Southern Chile. Navarino Island is a 955-square mile (2,473 kilometers) area located between Tierra del Fuego to the north and Cape Horn to the south. Mink apparently arrived on the island in the 1990s. Magellanic Woodpeckers are accustomed to an intensive level of feeding on the ground on the island, something they are not as prone to do on the mainland where three species of foxes and other potential predators exist.

The Magellanic Woodpecker is a charismatic species notable for being the largest extant woodpecker in the Americas (after the Imperial and Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, other members of the Campephilus genus that are possibly extinct). The authors present a compelling argument for broadening current management actions to control the mink population in order to protect the Magellanic Woodpecker and other less noticed native species.

Jiménez, Jaime E., et al. "Potential impact of the Alien American Mink (Neovison vison) on Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus) in Navarino Island, Southern Chile." Biological Invasions (2013): 1-6.

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