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SAHC Protects and Improves 1,000 Acres in the Highlands of Roan

Male Golden-winged Warbler detected in habitat improvement areas on Little Hump Mountain; photo by Chris Coxen.

Last winter, SAHC protected the 600-acre Grassy Ridge tract within the Highlands of Roan, providing critical connectivity between U.S. Forest Service land and North Carolina Yellow Mountain State Natural Area lands. The new acquisition permanently protects several important habitat types. The site features high elevation heath and grassy balds, northern hardwood and high elevation red oak forests, and substantial old-field successional habitat that currently supports breeding Golden-winged Warblers and American Woodcocks. The 357-acre Yellow Mountain Gateway tract, featuring rich cove, high elevation red oak, northern hardwood forests and riparian habitat along its streams, was also protected on the Roan. A…
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Advancing Best Management Practices for Ohio’s Forests and Birds

The Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative and its partners released a guide to assist land managers in making forest management decisions to benefit bird populations. "Managing Forest Birds in Southeast Ohio: A Guide for Land Managers", written by Amanda Rodewald, provides recommendations for land managers in how to improve habitat conditions for forest birds. Management recommendations in the guide come from nearly a decade of research in the forests of Southeastern Ohio. Other project partners include the Ohio Division of Wildlife, Ohio State University (School of Environment and Natural Resources, and Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Lab), The Nature Conservancy in Ohio, OSU…
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Planting 6500 Trees and Shrubs on a Legacy Surface Mine in Tennessee

Patrick Angel (OSMRE) helps a young volunteer plant trees; photo by GFW.

Volunteers from the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church joined Green Forests Work (GFW) and the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) at Cross Mountain in Tennessee to reforest approximately 10 acres of surface mined lands.  These incredibly productive volunteers planted 6500 trees and shrubs, allowing the natural healing process to begin in an area transformed by the ARRI’s Forestry Reclamation Approach.  The planting prescription, formulated by Dr. David Buehler of the University of Tennessee, is benefiting Golden-winged Warbler populations.   In addition to native hardwood species that comprise all GFW planting events throughout Appalachia, species such as…
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High Elevation Spruce-Hardwood Habitat Conservation Accomplishments in WVA

Aerial image of spruce restoration efforts in progress as part of the ecological restoration work on the Mower Tract in WV; photo by Cathy Johnson.

The Monongahela National Forest (MNF) and partners are focusing on conservation and restoration of red spruce-northern hardwood forests as part of the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI). While red spruce was a dominant forest type on the MNF and adjacent lands, logging practices severely impacted the spruce-northern hardwood ecosystem in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Only a small portion of the original acreage still exists. What remains provides critical habitat for many sensitive boreal bird species during both the breeding and non-breeding season, including AMJV priority landbirds such as the Northern Goshawk, Red Crossbill, and Blackburnian Warbler.

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VA Group Brings together Diverse Membership to Coordinate Habitat Delivery

Members of the VA Golden-winged Warbler Group discussing Golden-winged Warbler habitat; photo by Al Bourgeois.

Working under the auspices of the Virginia Bird Conservation Initiative, the VA Golden-winged Warbler Partners Group launched in late 2012 to coordinate efforts under the Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative among a variety of partners. Meetings over the past year advanced understanding of Golden-winged Warbler habitat requirements in Virginia - which is an important link to establish effective on-the-ground management - improved communication and coordination among stakeholders, disseminated information on ongoing research in Virginia, and helped coordinate future Golden-winged Warbler surveys.  The group brings together a diverse membership including personnel from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, US…
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Promoting the Creation of Young Forest Habitat on Public and Private Lands

Golden-wined Warbler; photo by Bill Hubick.

The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW) prioritized parcels of land suitable for Golden-winged Warbler habitat in northern NJ to identify the highest priority landowners to solicit enrollment in the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) program.  These efforts also determined areas not yet surveyed on public lands but have a high probability of occupation by breeding Warblers. The National Wild Turkey Federation and Natural Resources Conservation Service helped rank and seek private landowners to enroll in WLFW.  Eleven landowners applied for the program in 2013 and ten went to contract. Two other applicants that did not go to contract…
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Collecting Vital Population Information on GWWA and CERW in North Carolina

NCWRC staff helped test the newly released AMJV Mapping Forum Tool for survey activities.

A coordinated effort among Working Groups and partners led to a successful season of surveying populations and collecting vital data on Golden-winged and Cerulean Warblers in the North Carolina region of the AMJV. The Southern Appalachian Golden-winged Warbler Working Group surveyed 54 sites and observed 29 Golden-winged warblers, including one male in Macon County that sang a Northern Parula Warbler song; a phenomenon also reported by an independent contractor working in the Roan Highlands. Golden-winged Warbler surveys and monitoring efforts included official Golden-Winged Warbler Atlas Project points, timber harvest units on the Nantahala National Forest Game Lands, and old field…
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PGC Supports Winter Habitat Management for Priority Species in Nicaragua

Liliana Chavaria banding a Wood Thrush at El Jaguar Reserve in Nicaragua; photo by Doug Gross.

As part of its full life-cycle approach to Golden-winged Warbler and Wood Thrush conservation, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is supporting habitat restoration efforts around the El Jaguar Reserve in northern Nicaragua and in the proposed El Jaguar – Volcán de Yalí Corridor. The region supports an excellent Golden-winged Warbler wintering population as well as Wood Thrushes, Louisiana Waterthrushes, Golden-cheeked Warblers, and other high priority neotropical migrants. More than 25 neotropical migrants winter in the area. Tangible links in Wood Thrush connectivity have been established between northern Nicaragua and Pennsylvania by the work of the Stutchbury Lab, and are likely -…
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GWWA Management and Research on the Monongahela National Forest

A range allotment on the Monongahela NF. Red points indicate nest site locations; inset shows sample of LiDAR data; photo by Cathy Johnson.

The Monongahela National Forest (MNF), in partnership with West Virginia University (WVU) and the West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, is actively managing range allotments across the forest to enhance habitats for Golden-winged Warbler and other early successional wildlife species while still meeting the needs of livestock. Management began in 2008 as part of a research project and continues because activities were successful, with hundreds of acres of Golden-winged Warbler-oriented management implemented over the last six years and several unidentified populations discovered across the forest. Staff conducted point count surveys at 157 locations in the area throughout the…
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Integrating GWWA Management with High Elevation Grassy Bald Restoration

Vesper Sparrows and other species that use high elevation early successional and open grassland habitat should benefit from the work at Bradley Gap and Hump Mountain.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy-North Carolina funded a project designed to enhance and expand early successional/grass bald habitat on high elevation bald margins. Located along the Appalachian Trail corridor, the project site spans the NC/TN state line on the Roan Mountain Massif, is a component of a multi-partner endeavor to restore and maintain the globally endangered grassy bald community, and enhances Golden-winged Warbler habitat in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The creation of Ecotones will promote a gradual vegetation transition on grassy bald margins. Treatment of 52 acres (approximately 21.5 acres hand mowed, 15.5 acres treated with chainsaws, and 15 acres brush-hogged)…
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