White-backed Woodpecker and Saproxylic Beetles

The White-backed Woodpecker is a species of conservation concern and a top predator in saproxylic food webs. To better understand the species interaction, we study saproxylic beetle communities.


  • Lead school School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute Multifunctional Forest Management
  • Research unit Forest Ecosystem and Management
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration (planned) 01.03.2018 - 31.12.2021
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Thibault Lachat
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Thibault Lachat
  • Project staff Romain Angeleri
    Prof. Dr. Thibault Lachat
    Urs Kormann
  • Partner Vogelwarte
    Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU
    Inatura Erlebnisschau GmbH
  • Keywords Saproxylic beetles, White-backed Woodpecker, Community ecology, Conservation ecology


With a characterization of the saproxylic communities occuring within the habitat of the White-backed Woodpecker, we will be able to identify the present interactions among this food web as a guideline for birds and beetles conservation.

Course of action

The white-backed woodpecker is by far the rarest woodpecker species in Central Europe. Even if numerous forests seem to meet the ecological requirements of this species, the white-backed woodpecker is still missing in many places. Therefore, the bird species being a top predator in Saproxylic food webs, the arthropods' ecology may play an important role for the bird's occurrence and are therefore our priority accross this European study.