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Forest Stand Improvement and Bird Surveys in Kentucky

The Kentucky Warbler is a species of Greatest Conservation Need in Kentucky; photo by Jim Rathert.
Through various granting sources, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) is actively planning and implementing “Forest Stand Improvement” (FSI) on many of their Wildlife Management Areas throughout the state. The goal is to improve forest habitat for Species of Greatest Conservation Need listed in Kentucky’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), by providing structural diversity within mature stands, encouraging oak regeneration, removing invasive/exotic species, and providing early successional habitat. In 2010, KDFWR conducted FSI surveys at two WMAs in the AMJV: Paintsville Lake and Fishtrap Lake. FSI will occur at these WMAs during the fall and winters of 2011-2013, but KDFWR is also gathering “pre-treatment” data and fully intends to collect “post-treatment” data for several years beyond 2013. Future analyses of data will be used to make management recommendations for SGCN in Kentucky’s SWAP. Data will also be useful to AMJV partners, helping to develop and refine habitat objectives for various priority species.