Ash borer affects Detroit-area woodpeckers

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

DETROIT A study says the presence of the tree-killing emerald ash borer in the Detroit area has affected the area's woodpecker population.

Researchers at Cornell University and the U.S. Forest Service examined woodpecker populations in the Detroit area and compared the numbers to some other Midwest cities. The Detroit Free Press reports they found the Detroit area has a higher population of red-bellied woodpeckers and white-breasted nuthatches.

The researchers also found that downy and hairy woodpeckers had population declines after the ash borer's arrival, but those numbers have begun recovering in the last few years.

The emerald ash borer is a beetle native to Asia detected in southeast Michigan in 2002. It's responsible for the death or damage of millions of ash trees in Michigan's Lower Peninsula and surrounding states.

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