DFG Invites Public Comment Related to Black-backed Woodpecker

Media Contacts:
Lyann Comrack, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 341-6981

Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is seeking public comment as part of a status review of California’s Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) population. DFG is currently evaluating whether the species warrants listing as a threatened or endangered species under state law.

Photo courtesy of Lyann Comrack

The Black-backed Woodpecker is a medium-sized bird that is found in coniferous forests in North America. In California, they occur sparsely at moderate to higher elevations in the southern Cascades, Klamath Region, Warner Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, south to Kern County.  The species apparently prefers intensively burned forests over unburned forests and forests that have burned at lower intensities.

In October 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity and the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute submitted a petition to the Fish and Game Commission to formally list the Black-backed Woodpecker as a threatened or endangered species.  As part of the status review process, DFG is soliciting public comment regarding the woodpecker’s ecology, biology, life history, distribution, abundance, threats, habitat that may be essential for the species and recommendations for management.

Comments, data and other information must be submitted in writing to:

California Department of Fish and Game
Nongame Wildlife Program
Attn: Lyann Comrack
1812 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA  95811

Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to BBWO@dfg.ca.gov.

All comments received by the due date of June 1, 2012 will be included in a subsequent DFG report to the Commission.  Following the receipt of the report, the Commission will allow a 30-day public comment period prior to taking any action on DFG’s recommendation.

DFG’s petition evaluation report for the Black-backed Woodpecker can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/publications.