Cooperative Cerulean Warbler Forest Management Project

  • Maehr, David (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Justification: Our current understanding of the response of Cerulean Warblers (and a number of associated species of concern) to forest management activities is limited at best. Proper management of forests within the breeding range may be the key to conserving this species. Given the fairly limited core breeding range of the species, this may be especially critical. Not only could proper forest management help protect the Cerulean Warbler's habitat, it may also provide effective means of enhancing and/or creating habitat for this species. We plan to implement a multi-state, large-scale project across the forests of the core breeding range to examine responses of this and associated species to commonly applied forest management practices. Funding is needed to hire seasonal technicians to monitor bird responses at a total of four study sites in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia (2). We propose to concentrate the research in the Appalachian Mountains Bird Conservation Region (BCR 28) because >75% of the known cerulean population resides in this region. Other study sites could be added, but these four should be viewed as the core of the project. Study Areas: Each study area (replicate) should consist of four stands of at least 160 acres (66 ha) each of "mature" forest habitat. This will allow enough space to implement silvicultural treatments of at least 25 acres (10 ha) each such that the treatment is centered in the 160-acre block allowing for an undisturbed buffer. The buffer will allow for the isolation of treatment effects and also will allow for sampling of edge effects from the treatment itself. The treatments would be undisturbed (control), and disturbed by selective harvests at two different levels of intensity (50 and 75% residual canopy), and disturbed by even-aged harvests (i.e., clearcutting). These treatments should be applied at random within each replicate. Location of each replicate should reflect the range of prevailing land use the region, thus the study sites will occur within heavily forested habitat matrices (-70-90%). Selection of sites that had reasonably large populations of ceruleans to begin with would also be an important criterion to facilitate collection of demographic data.
Effective start/end date5/1/054/30/06


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