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 - 24.12.2023
  • 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.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 15: Life on land