Within the past 15 years, at least 41 and probably more active cavity tree clusters (or colonies) of Red cockaded Woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) have existed in remnant, mature shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) woodlands in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. These clusters were located on both private timberlands and in the Ouachita National Forest. Fewer than half of this number were still active in early 1991, and none remained on private timberlands. The species is presently restricted to the xeric, western margins of the Ouachitas in Scott and Polk counties within the confines of the Ouachita National Forest where it receives protection of the Endangered Species Act. The decline of P. borealis in the Ouachitas resulted from intense logging of old growth pine forests during the timber boom period, ca. 1910-1950, and from the suppression of natural fires, which subsequently allowed hardwoods to invade former pine woodlands.
Neal, Joseph C. and Montague, Warren G.
"Past and Present Distribution of the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Picoides borealis and its Habitat in the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 45
, Article 22.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol45/iss1/22