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Study Compares GWWA Demographics among Created Habitat using NRCS Practices

Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate student banding fledgling Golden-winged Warbler; photo by R. Poole.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and its collaborators from University of Tennessee, West Virginia University, Appalachian State University, and North Carolina-Audubon completed a three-year study that evaluated Golden-winged Warbler (GWWA) demographics in habitats created using conservation practices of the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Working Lands For Wildlife (WLFW): Golden-winged Warbler Habitat Initiative. The project was funded through NRCS-Conservation Effects Assessment Project with additional funding provided by American Bird Conservancy and Pennsylvania Game Commission. The research team examined territory density, nest success, juvenile survival and movements, adult condition, and survival across 95 sites in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

An outcome of this work was the development of a standardized monitoring protocol to be used to evaluate GWWA use of recently managed sites on private lands enrolled in NRCS habitat initiatives. In 2015, IUP and partners will initiate a monitoring program on private lands in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Minnesota with other states being added in subsequent years. While all passerines will be monitored, American Woodcock and GWWA will be the focal species of this monitoring effort.