New York Natural Heritage Program
Bird Dropping Moth
Cerma cora Hübner, 1818

Threats [-]
Besides habitat destruction from development, the threats could include either too much or too little fire and it is not clear how well suited the current fire management practices at the Albany Pine Bush is for this species. It is possible that this species is found mostly in places that have not burned recently where the foodplants have become fairly large, but it is not likely that this moth would do well in a closed canopy forest. This species may thrive on the sprouts of the foodplant after fires. Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) spraying with chemical biocides is a severe threat. Gypsy Moth spraying could also be a threat with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis - a bacterial biological control used on Gypsy Moth caterpillars), but this isn't certain. Deer could be a significant threat if they browse on the sprouts of the foodplant after fires.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices [-]
The precise needs of this moth are not well known and monitoring needs to be initiated at the single known location in New York. The species pupates in dead wood, where it is vulnerable to fire during most of the year, although the habitat needs occasional fires in order to persist.

Research Needs [-]
The effects of prescribed burning on this species need to be evaluated since it is one of the few pine barrens specialists that is, or recently was, still doing well in the Albany Pine Bush. Research issues include examining the suitability of pupation sites after fires, whether the species will quickly recolonize foodplant sprouts after fires and, if not, how long does it take for the habitat to become suitable again.