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

North Carolina Project

Conservation status and management of Henslow's sparrows at the VOA Game Land and eastern North Carolina.

August 2020 - June 2023


Participating Agencies

  • NC Wildlife Resources Commission

We propose four research objectives to deliver a status assessment and gather foundational dataat multiple scales to enable the NCWRC to enhance the persistence of the sparrow at theVOAGL and the State. At the local level, we propose to estimate the sparrow’s capacity tosustain themselves, and quantify the sparrow’s response to habitat management at the Voice ofAmerica Game Land site. The latter is particularly important to lay a foundation for an adaptivemanagement framework to guide habitat management. At the landscape level, we propose towork closely with the North Carolina Bird Atlas project personnel to survey habitats outside theVoice of America Game Land, and lastly, determine the genetic distinctiveness of the NorthCarolina population not addressed by Ibargüen (2004). Off-site surveys are justified tostrengthen the bases for strategic habitat conservation plans to reduce risks of extinction.Likewise, understanding the evolutionary history and genetic connectivity of the North Carolinapopulation of C. henslowii is essential to assess their persistence potential by establishing if theNorth Carolina population is effectively isolated, or subject to “rescue effects” by a broader poolof post-wintering birds from other parts of the species range.