ABC Bird of the Week:
Rarity of Brazilian Bamboo - Kaempfer’s Woodpecker
Once feared extinct, the Kaempfer’s Woodpecker was rediscovered in 2006, 80 years after its initial discovery. Long considered a subspecies of the Rufous-headed Woodpecker, the Kaempfer’s was recognized as a distinct species in 2003 based on differences in habitat, size, and plumage, combined with a large distance between the species’ ranges.
Kaempfer’s Woodpecker is strongly associated with Gadua bamboo and specializes in feeding on ants found inside the bamboo canes. Students at Brazil’s University of Tocatins have been studying this species for several years, increasing knowledge of its range, which is vast but increasingly fragmented by agricultural activities, infrastructure development, and land-clearing for cattle ranching.
This woodpecker does not occur in any protected areas, and there appears to be no clear stronghold site for the species, which puts it at even greater risk of extinction…
(read more: American Bird Conservancy)
photo: Ciro Albano