Old nest cavities excavated by Great Spotted Woodpeckers (GSW) Dendrocopos major were examined in two study areas (urban and suburban forests) in Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido, northern Japan. Five avian and one mammalian secondary cavity user (SCU) species occupied 47 of 101 GSW cavities inspected. The species composition differed between urban and suburban forests. Avian SCU species occupied GSW cavities more frequently in the urban than in the suburban forests. Tree Sparrows Passer montanus and Chestnut-cheeked Starlings Sturnus philippensis were the only dominant cavity breeding species in the severely fragmented urban forests. Flying Squirrels Pteromys volans were the most dominant users of GSW cavities in the suburban forests. The density of GSW cavities depends not only on natural processes but also on human activities. The suitability of the GSW cavities for certain SCU species decreases with time. To maintain the diversity of cavity-nesting wildlife in urban and suburban areas of Sapporo, preservation of existing trees with GSW cavities as well as providing suitable habitat conditions to support continued production of new cavities is essential.
2002 The Ornithological Society of Japan