Birder's Guide

MAY 2014

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 40 of 51

39 May 2014 | Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community value the recovery of declining species need to make their support known not only to their elected offcials, but also to the agencies and organizations that must continue to choose among com- peting resource needs. So speak up and get out…out birding, that is! Read More Cox, J. and C. Jones. "Bachman's Sparrow and the Order of the Phoenix", Birding , May/ June 2008, pp. 38–45. Available online: Eberly, C. "Defending the Steppingstones of Migration", Birding, October 2002, pp. 450-458. Available online: Hess, P. "Weapons and Woodpeckers", Birding , January 2012, p. 25. America's Longleaf Initiative. Central Hardwoods Joint Venture. East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture. Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership. Longleaf Alliance. Longleaf Partnership Council's 2013 Report. Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture (LMVJV). LMVJV's "Open Pine Landbird Plan". Migratory Bird Joint Ventures. National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative. Partners in Flight WatchList. allows sunlight to reach the forest foor, resulting in a diverse understory. A cynic could be excused for think- ing this alphabet soup of agencies and programs is just a lot of bureaucracy, but these partnerships among conservation agencies and organizations are vital if we are to achieve greater effciency, com- munication, and coordination. Joint ven- tures also work to develop and imple- ment research and monitoring programs and to engage the general public through communication, education, and out- reach. Successful conservation requires passion and engagement from all of us. Good News for Birds and Birders With so much work going on, not only can we expect a brighter future for pin- ey-woods birds, but birders should also have a much easier time fnding these wonderful and ecologically unique crea- tures. For instance, Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas has seen a dramatic increase in Red-cockaded Woodpecker numbers since management for them began, and visitors can witness the transformation themselves, both in the graph in this article, and on the ground. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's most recent iteration of "Birding in the United States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis" continues to show a high in- terest by Americans in birding, with the South demonstrating the highest inter- est. Many birders are now close to areas where pine woodland is being restored. This could be truly a "win-win". But res- toration takes money, and birders who dence and negative consequences of un- characteristically large and hot wildfres also is part of the goal. As a result, up to $40 million can be appropriated an- nually from 2009–2019, with up to $4 million a year available for any particu- lar project. The program now is funding hundreds of thousands of acres of pine woodland restoration in the following national forests: Ouachita (Arkansas and Oklahoma), Mark Twain (Missouri), and Osceola (Florida). Additional Forest Ser- vice funds have been awarded to pine woodland restoration in the Ozark–St. Francis (Arkansas) and the DeSoto (Mis- sissippi) national forests as well. Joint Ventures: Using Science to Deliver the Right Conservation in the Right Places Cooperative, regional bird conservation partnerships, known as Migratory Bird Joint Ventures, work to conserve habi- tat for the beneft of birds, other wild- life, and people. Since they were frst established in 1986, joint ventures have grown to cover nearly all of the U.S. and Canada, and much of Mexico. These self-directed partnerships address prior- ity bird conservation issues within their geographic areas. The East Gulf Coastal Plain and Lower Mississippi Valley joint ventures both fo- cus on pine woodland restoration on the coastal plain, and the Lower Mississippi Valley and Central Hardwoods joint ven- tures share responsibility for advancing bird habitat conservation through part- nership with other organizations within the interior highlands. Joint venture partners have developed practical con- servation strategies by using the latest scientifc understanding of bird habitat needs in order to identify and target the most appropriate locations for action in pine savannah habitats. At the heart of these strategies are a few basic tenets: These most imperiled bird species gen- erally require fairly large tracts of suit- able forest habitat, relatively large and mature trees, and a canopy cover that Brown-headed Nuthatch is a pine obligate. That means it can live nowhere else but pine forest, such as is found in Point Lookout State Park in Maryland, where this photo was taken. Photo © Bill Hubik 5-Pine Woodlands2.indd 39 5/22/14 7:54 PM

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