The Appalachian Mountains are some of the most beautiful and biologically diverse areas in North America. Millions of years of geologic evolution have resulted in tall mountains with long ridgelines, steep slopes, deep ravines, wide valleys, and endless combinations of landform, elevation, and soils that support an abundance of plant and animal species. The highest diversity of salamanders in the world are found here as well as productive forests and robust assemblages of bird species that use the region to breed, spend the winter, and pass through during migration.
The Appalachian Mountains also face a range of conservation challenges. Since European settlement, the Appalachian landscape has changed dramatically, and it continues to change as urbanization, energy development, and multiple other factors continue to alter the region. To address these challenges, the AMJV works with an array of partners to develop and implement habitat conservation that is both strategic and effective. We believe that habitat conservation must move forward rapidly while the science foundation for bird conservation is strengthened through biological planning, conservation design, monitoring and evaluation, and adaptive management. The AMJV uses the best available scientific information to establish measurable conservation objectives, implement on-the-ground projects, and conduct monitoring and research activities that will help track our progress and improve our effectiveness.
While our focus is bird conservation, our work benefits the diversity of wildlife and habitats throughout the Appalachians. Much of our work revolves around improving the health, resilience, and structure of Appalachian forests. We work across the range of land ownerships, including federal lands such as National Forests, state lands like state forests and wildlife management areas, industrially ownership, and private lands. We believe in a “working landscapes” approach that balances landowners’ needs with conservation potential, one that results in win-win results for both birds and people.