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Bunny Management is… for the birds! Shannon B. Kearney-McGee E. Hinkel 1
Connecticut Wildlife Action Plan – “Conserve and Increase the number of breeding populations of GCN early successional birds, especially the golden-winged warbler and yellow- breasted chat” 2
Let’s meet some of the shrubland birds 30 Shrubland Obligates State endangered: – Golden-winged warbler – Yellow-breasted chat State Special concern: – Brown thrasher Arlene Koziol
Blue-winged warbler 10% of world’s population breeding in Southern New England
Blue-winged warbler >3% per year decline We will lose ¼ of our population in the next 10 years
Eastern towhee Significant % of world’s population in Southern New England 20% of New England’s population is specifically in CT
Eastern towhee Estimated only 13% of original population remain 7% annual decline Projected loss 50% population over next 10 years
Prairie warbler Significant % of global population E. Hinkel
Prairie warbler 4.5% annual population decline Projected loss >30% of population over next decade E. Hinkel
Risk by nesting location? Ground nesters Shrub nesters
Breeding habitat loss!
Why are we losing shrubland habitat? Ugly places… – (for beautiful birds) Ephemeral - – Unsuitable 10 years after creation Requires active management – $$ 13 Schlossberg and King 2007
Capacity of DEEP Management to Support Shrubland Bird Population 14
Progress Towards our Population Goals? 15
Estimated Cost to “Buy” Shrubland Birds on WMA’s in Connecticut Maintain Succeeded Shrubland ~$Cost/ Hectare$3,000 16
Estimated Cost to “Buy” Shrubland Birds on WMA’s in Connecticut Maintain Succeeded Shrubland ~$Cost/ Hectare$3,000 $/bird$5,900 17
Estimated Cost to “Buy” Shrubland Birds on WMA’s in Connecticut Maintain Succeeded Shrubland ~$Cost/ Hectare$3,000 $/bird$5,900 $/bird$9,400 18
New England Cottontail Management 19
How cottontail management helps birds
But… What about the forest birds? 22 Cutting may help forest species! – Post fledgeling period – Migrants higher fitness
Worm-eating warbler fledglings in 30% of forest cuts in Connecticut
Regional Bird Conservation Plans Regional priorites
Population trends of mature forest birds vs. shrubland birds
Can we have our cake and eat it too? Decision support tool – Cost and benefit Regional and local priorities Data will drive the decisions
Thank you! Questions?
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