On Dec. 4, SCDNR biologists and a U.S. Forest Service contractor captured and translocated a pair of red-cockaded woodpeckers (RCW).

The RCW pair was moved from the Francis Marion National Forest to Tillman Sandridge Heritage Preserve in Jasper County. The birds were released and seen foraging on Tillman HP on Dec. 5.

Artificial cavities were installed at Tillman in February 2018 with hopes that nearby RCW would move in, but the cavities remained inactive in October 2019. That’s when the SCDNR made a plan with the Longleaf Alliance and the U.S. Forest Service to move in a pair of hatch year birds from the Francis Marion National Forest.

This pair of RCW will be monitored periodically prior to the 2020 breeding season.

This translocation was an important part of public land recovery efforts for this endangered species in South Carolina. The RCW is currently undergoing a species status review with USFWS.