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Wesołowski T. 1995. Value of Białowieża Forest for the conservation of white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) in Poland. Biological Conservation 71: 69-75.

Data on white-backed woodpecker distribution, population size and habitat utilisation in the Polish part of the Białowieża Forest were collected in 1991 in order to assess the status of this species in the Forest, and to evaluate the importance of this Forest complex for its conservation. The woodpecker was found to be still widely distributed in the Białowieża Forest, especially in primaeval stands protected in the Białowieża National Park, but also in several places in the managed part of the Forest. Within the Park it occupies deciduous stands of all types, whereas in the managed part its distribution is strongly dependent on the presence of swampy deciduous stands. An estimated 115-130 pairs of white-backed woodpecker pairs breeding in the Polish part supplemented by a further 20-50 pairs in the Belarusian part, make the Białowieża population one of the largest in central and northern Europe. Hence the Białowieża Forest should be rated high in any efforts to conserve this species. The species' future may best be safeguarded by enlarging the area of the Białowieża National Park, to encompass the whole Forest complex.

Key words: viable population, forest management, habitat changes