Audubon North Carolina (ANC) will soon reach out to private landowners across western North Carolina to encourage them to protect and restore priority bird habitats, while simultaneously helping landowners enhance their property in cost-effective and sustainable ways. ANC staff will work to educate landowners on what they can do to enhance their land for Golden-winged Warblers, and work to enroll them in incentive programs with partner programs.
Western North Carolina, because of its elevational range and forested landscape, is an important destination for Golden-winged Warblers to nest each year. The warbler has been petitioned for listing as an endangered species due to its rapid range-wide decline, making the nesting areas in North Carolina crucial for protection and ongoing maintenance. Audubon has mapped privately owned land in Western North Carolina that contains preferred habitats for the species, in hopes of working with eligible landowners to protect and maintain the area for long-term sustainability. Landowners who meet certain criteria to participate in the program will be notified with a letter from an ANC representative in the next few weeks.
“As the bird people for our state, ANC has crafted an approach to forest management that protects and restores habitats for birds, while simultaneously helping landowners enhance their property in cost-effective ways,” says Audubon Conservation Biologist Erin McCombs. “We are excited to develop these partnerships with local communities and their citizens across Western North Carolina in an effort to sustain the Golden-winged Warbler and North Carolina’s beautiful landscapes.”
The program will offer training opportunities, management plans and demonstration sites in order to work with private landowners to support environmentally sound practices, especially those that benefit native birds. Landowners who have been identified will receive a letter in the mail in the coming weeks detailing how they can learn more about participating in the program, and how they can receive land management support that will create these specialized habitats. For more information about Audubon North Carolina and the working lands initiative visit our webpage.