Protect Rare Woodpeckers from Destructive Logging

Black Backed Woodpecker

Target: Dan Ashe, Director, United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Obtain protection for rare black-backed woodpeckers under the Endangered Species Act

Recently, the Center for Biological Diversity and the John Miur Project of Earth Island Institute filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) over the agency’s failure to protect black-backed woodpeckers under the Endangered Species Act. In May 2012 the Center petitioned the FWS to protect woodpeckers inhabiting California, Oregon and the Black Hills of South Dakota. The agency responded with an acknowledgement that there is a need to conduct a full review of the bird’s status, yet has taken no action. Urge Dan Ashe, Director of FWS, to grant these woodpeckers protected status, before logging activities destroy all of their habitat and force them into extinction.

Black-backed woodpeckers live in a specific type of habitat, burned conifer forest. Known as “snag forest,” it is composed of standing dead trees in high densities, created after fires. The trees provide nesting space and large amounts of wood-boring beetle larvae for the woodpeckers to eat. This type of habitat is regularly destroyed by post-fire logging, which removes the dead trees the woodpeckers need for survival. The vast majority of this habitat is unprotected and open to logging.

Demand that these rare woodpeckers inhabiting California, Oregon and South Dakota be granted protection under the Endangered Species Act. Sign the petition below and help save them from extinction.


Dear Director Ashe,

In 2012 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized that the black-backed woodpeckers inhabiting California, Oregon and South Dakota faced serious threats to their survival. At that time the agency acknowledged a need to conduct a full review to assess the status of the woodpeckers, yet no action has been taken. Due to the agency’s inaction, the woodpeckers now face extinction in these areas, as their specific type of habitat is quickly being destroyed by logging activities.

I urge you heed the recommendation of the Center for Biological Diversity and the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute, and protect the woodpeckers under the Endangered Species Act. The Forest Service recently proposed three massive logging projects in California that would destroy the woodpeckers’ habitat. Fires are essential for maintaining biological diversity in California’s Sierra Nevada ecosystem and logging in burned area causes significant harm to wildlife and forest.

Do not allow black-backed woodpeckers to become extinct in the name of capitalism. The Fish and Wildlife Service should honor its commitment to the animals it is supposed to protect, not give in to the logging industry and their lobbyists who value profit over the welfare of wildlife.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikipedia

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  1. It appears everything is going extinct. I put out some birdfeeders and I am welcomed every morning by a groups of woodpeckers. I have witnessed them feeding their babies, although some of the babies are larger than their parents. They are very cute little critters. They, in addition to all animals, must be saved from extinction.

  2. I really am getting alarmed at the rate of petitions I sign for animals of all kinds heading for extinction, it is a disgrace, we should be ashamed of our selves.

  3. Nancy O'Neal says:

    The world is suffering from deforestation and claiming the lives of endangered species. Do you think it wise to ignore this? Who will stand up and say “ENOUGH”!

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