Agroplus

Projects

This collaborative effort, completed in 2013, analyzes and documents the current status and distribution of glade ecosystems within the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region planning area. Though some projects are directly linked to habitat improvements, many focus on directing and facilitating cooperation between partners, influencing policies and agency operations, or providing information and support to our partners. Most of the effort is focused within the CHBCR, but the CHJV will engage in national, regional and even international projects which benefit our habitat and population goals. The following is are some of the most recent efforts;

1. Regional Glade Conservation Assessment

This collaborative effort  analyzes and documents the current status and distribution of glade ecosystems within the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region planning area was completed in 2013. Glades and glade-woodland complexes are natural communities which provide high-quality habitat for several priority bird species including the Prairie Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Field Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Wood-Pewee. We also recognize the importance of glade complexes to other flora and fauna species of conservation concern. This assessment  is the first step in identifying glade complexes with  the greatest potential to address the habitat needs of numerous species of conservation concern associated with these shallow bedrock communities. Download the glade assessment with appendices 1 through 4 here. Download Appendix 5,  Glade Plant Species of Conservation Concern here, and Appendix 6, Glade Animal List, here.

2. Interior Highland Shortleaf Pine Initiative

The Interior Highlands region of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma once supported vast expanses of shortleaf pine-bluestem woodlands, as well as mixed stands of pine-oak and oak-pine which were maintained by frequent fires. Over the past century 53% of these open pine stands have been significantly altered due to forest structural changes caused by eliminating fire from the ecosystem and conversion to other agricultural uses. This caused a significant decline in several priority bird species including the Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman’s Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, Prairie Warbler, Whip-poor-will and federally endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker which all rely on open pine forest stands with a diverse grass and forb understory. In 2011 the CHJV formed a regional partnership with the goal of sharing knowledge about the restoration and management of shortleaf or pine-oak ecosystems across the Ozark, Boston, and Ouachita Mountains. To date, there are roughly 500,000 acres of ecosystem restoration targeted in key landscapes on public lands alone, with large amounts of funding coming from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. It is anticipated that this effort will become part of a range wide Shortleaf Pine restoration project in the future.

3. Promotion of Prescribed Fire

The use of prescribed fire as a habitat management tool is vital for many of the priority birds in the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region. Most species evolved to live in fire-mediated habitats that were common prior to European settlement. Fire suppression in these habitats is considered a significant factor in the declines of many grassland-shrubland bird populations. Promotion and protection of this management practice is important to achieving the CHJV’s population goals for these species. The CHJV is actively engaged in supporting prescribed fire use at not only the regional, but also the national level, and is a participating member of state prescribed fire councils in Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee. We also work closely with the Oaks and Forest Fire Consortium, the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative’s Forestry Subcommittee and other organizations to maintain fire as a viable management tool.

4. Other Partnership Efforts

    1. a) St. Francois Woodland and Glades and Current River Hills Cooperation Conservation Partnership Initiative: Initiated by the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation, this program targets restoration of glade and woodland habitat on private lands.  The region supports a diverse array of habitat types including igneous glades, oak savannas, oak and oak-pine woodlands, and oak and oak-pine forests. Restoration of these habitats will benefit the Eastern Towhee, Prairie Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Field Sparrow,  Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Wood-Pewees. The CHJV is engaged by working to ensure landowners have access to tools and expertise, such as private prescribed burn contractors, to restore and maintain quality habitats needed in the area.
    2. b) Shoal Creek Woodlands for Wildlife: Locally lead project to protect and restore streamside riparian corridors and restore open woodland habitats in south central Missouri. The CHJV is on the technical committee and provides habitat objectives for birds of conservation concern and technical assistance on management prescriptions to achieve desired results.
    3. c) Eastern Shawnee Conservation Opportunity Area Project:    A partnership in southeastern Illinois dedicated to restoring wetlands, riparian areas and woodland and savanna habitats. The CHJV is providing assistance on mapping potential habitat restoration areas and providing habitat goals for priority bird species.
    4. d) Yucatan Penisula Project: The CHJV has partnered with the Yucatan Peninsula Alliance for Birds (AAPY) to protect approximately 111,000 acres (45,000 hectares) of bird habitat in the northeastern Yucatan. Over 540 bird species occur on the peninsula, of which more than 200 are neotropical migrants. By one estimate, 600 million to 1.5 billion birds pass through or stay on the peninsula in their flight from North America to the Neotropics. Fifteen bird species are priority species for both the CHJV and the AAPY, including the Blue-winged, Worm-eating and Kentucky Warblers, the Louisiana Waterthrush and the Wood Thrush.