Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wisconsin Wildlife
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wisconsin Wildlife Project

Conservation of the Kirtland's Warbler

July 2013 - September 2019


Participating Agencies

  • SSP
  • USDA McIntire-Stennis Program

The population of the federally endangered Kirtland’s Warbler has stabilized over the last 5 years around 1800 singing males, nearly double the population goal of 1000 males targeted in the 1976 Recovery Plan. As a result of this biological recovery, the species has expanded into new breeding areas and the USFWS is compiling information for potential delisting of this “conservation-reliant” species. However, evaluating how the species is using these new habitats and assessing how climate change might affect conservation of Kirtland’s warbler has not been done. This project is a collaboration across the USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service Northern Research Station, and state natural resource managers in the Midwest. A population viability assessment will be developed by linking how Kirtland’s Warbler survivorship and productivity will be altered from changing climate conditions (i.e., drought) and changing habitat availability and distribution.

Research Publications Publication Date
Donner, D.M., D.J. Brown, C.A. Ribic, M. Nelson, and T. Greco. 2018. Managing forest habitat for conservation-reliant species in a changing climate: the case of the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler. Forest Ecology and Management 430:265-279. December 2018
Brown, D.J., C.A. Ribic, D.M. Donner, M.D. Nelson, C.I. Bocetti, C.M. Deloria-Sheffeld. 2017. Using a full annual cycle model to evaluate long-term population viability of the conservation-reliant Kirtland’s warbler after successful recovery. Journal of Applied Ecology 54: 439–449 June 2017
Wolcott, D.M., D.M. Donner, D.J. Brown, and C.A. Ribic. 2018. Kirtland’s warbler winter habitat changes across the Bahamian Archipelago in response to future climate condition scenarios. Caribbean Naturalist 49:1-20. July 2018