Princeton Times

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February 13, 2013

Golden Warbler Conservation

PRINCETON — Golden-winged Warblers (GWWAs) are migratory birds that are showing population declines across their range, especially in West Virginia. Loss of habitat is one of the causes for their decrease in numbers.

Many counties in the east central and southeastern region of West Virginia are key areas that have existing and potential habitat for Golden-winged Warblers.

Conservation efforts to increase early successional habitat will not only be beneficial to this beautiful songbird but several other species including wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, mourning doves, and rabbits.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funding through a program called Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW). This goal of this program will focus on creating and maintaining Golden-winged Warbler habitat, which will help sustain breeding populations of this bird. The program has divided approximately 33 million dollars in federal funds among seven selected species throughout the U.S., which includes the Golden-winged Warbler, in order to curtail further declines of their populations.

Private landowners that are interested in participating in this program are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The following property characteristics that would be ideal (but not limited to) for GWWAs are land tracts 3-5 acres or more that are bordered by approximately 75 percent forestland and include forestland at elevations of 2,000 to 3,200 feet. Landowners that have woodland and are planning to clear patches of 3 acres or more will be considered high priority. Pastures that are overgrown with shrubs or have patchy areas with scattered trees would also rank high on property eligibility. Landowners that have areas actively grazed by livestock, areas of hayland or meadow actively or periodically managed, and/or areas of contiguous forest lands actively undergoing or planned for various silvicultural practices should also consider applying for this program. Interested persons should contact your local NRCS Office - 304-255-9225, ext 116.


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