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Grassy Balds: Restoring Globally Rare Habitat in the Southern Appalachians

A grassy bald atop Little Hump Mountain; photo by Chris Coxen, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.
The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) continues habitat restoration work on Little Hump Mountain, one of the several grassy balds crossed by the Appalachian Trail, within the Highlands of Roan along the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Over the last three years, SAHC has secured funding from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Forest Foundation to expand the available breeding habitat for Golden-winged Warblers (GWWA) around the margin of the grassy bald. While multiple GWWA breeding pairs have been detected within a few miles of Little Hump, the mountain itself has only supported one pair since monitoring was started about six years ago. Encouraged by the habitat response thus far, SAHC anticipates efforts will result in an increased presence of breeding pairs on the mountain.