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West Virginia Songbirds

Location:

West Virginia

Landowner engagement is a key to successful habitat conservation for a wide diversity of species, including forest songbirds. Researchers are in West Virginia gathering information about the entire songbird community as a preliminary step to determining the best ways to engage different types of landowners, improve management strategies for songbirds linked to certification of sustainable forest practices, and identify the most effective way to implement multi-species conservation across ownership boundaries and types.

Preliminary Research

Researchers have been counting species by recording all songbirds seen and heard in large private, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)-certified forests and adjacent family-owned forestlands. They completed 330 surveys in multiple locations in 2021 and 2022, and recently completed a third season (data not yet available).

What’s Next?

Now that they have baseline data, researchers are testing various approaches to engaging private landowners in activities to improve conditions for songbirds. The project might be expanded to includeadditional ownership types and management strategies, such as state or federally owned forestlands. Long-term monitoring will be essential to understanding how conservation management techniques across all types of forest ownership to benefit songbird species in West Virginia.

Conservation Success Starts with Keeping Forests Intact

We all have a hand in ensuring conservation of wildlife. When we purchase wood and forest products, we support the sustainable cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting that keeps our forests as forests. Thousands of species call working forests home, and many species thrive in actively managed working forests.