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

West Virginia Project

Improving management strategies linked to certification of sustainable forest practices for priority songbirds in West Virginia

March 2021 - June 2023


Participating Agencies

  • US Geological Survey

Many eastern deciduous forest songbirds continue to experience significant population declines, which are often linked to breeding habitat requirements. Managing breeding habitat for some declining focal species in the eastern deciduous forest will entail managing for canopy heterogeneity and variable forest age classes through canopy disturbance, which are critical factors for optimizing bird species biodiversity. The prevalence of mature forests has remained stable to increasing in recent decades, but young forest conditions are lacking. In the Appalachian region, active forest management on private lands (both institutional and family-owned), in addition to public lands, are instrumental for either reversing declines or ensuring population persistence for many forest songbirds.