Monday, April 30, 2012

Conservation Funding Aimed at Bog Turtle and Golden-winged Warbler

The following news release came out of the Harrisburg USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service office last week.  The program looks to restore wetlands and early successional habitat for bog turtles and golden-winged warbler respectively.  Both of these types of habitat have been degraded or are in decline and both provide critical habitat for many other species as well.  In particular we are seeing a big push to create early successional habitat to favor other species like woodcock.

Harrisburg, PA, April 23, 2012

Golden-winged warbler
 Pennsylvania farmers and forest landowners are being urged to sign-up now for assistance to protect and restore habitats for the northern bog turtle and golden-winged warbler through the Working Lands for Wildlife partnership.

Working Lands for Wildlife is a new partnership between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to enhance natural resources by improving and protecting wildlife habitat.

Bog turtle
Working Lands for Wildlife is funded through USDA’s Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), which will share the cost of conservation practices with landowners in areas known to support one or both of these selected species. Examples of conservation practices that improve habitat for bog turtles include wetland restoration, prescribed grazing, brush management, and fencing; and for golden-winged warbler, early successional habitat management.

Bog turtles and golden-winged warblers are two of seven selected species nationally that are being focused on because of their declining populations. One of the smallest turtles in the world, the bog turtle has been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1997, when it was listed as a threatened species. The golden-winged warbler is a migratory song-bird that is at-risk for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Applications within priority Bog Turtle and Golden-Winged Warbler habitat areas will receive the highest consideration in Pennsylvania. To view a map of these areas: Bog Turtles or Golden-winged Warblers. Interested producers and landowners in targeted areas can enroll in the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) on a continuous basis at their local NRCS field office, but are encouraged to apply now while funds are available.

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