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

North Carolina Project

Determining Henslow's Sparrow (Centronyx henslowii) population redundancy in North Carolina.

September 2021 - December 2024


Participating Agencies

  • Raleigh Fieldl Office
  • Raleigh Field Office

Henslow’s Sparrow (HESP) is a grassland specialist, migratory songbird with a rapidly declining habitat range due to habitat loss and climate change. The species is a conservation priority for the State and US Fish and Wildlife Service due to its limited presence in North Carolina and declining populations across the United States. In North Carolina, the species’ stronghold is at the Voice of America Game Lands (VOAGL). Ongoing efforts are designed to estimate its population size and assess its response to fire management (resiliency), and determine its genetic distinctiveness (representativeness) from other populations. However, little is known about the sparrow’s presence and abundance in North Carolina outside of the VOAGL. The work proposed herein is designed to: 1) identify the presence or absence of Henslow’s Sparrows at sites with suitable habitat parameters, but where their presence or status is unknown; and 2) develop an accurate habitat range model for Henslow’s Sparrows in the state of North Carolina. This work is important because the existence of other populations would spread the risk of local extinction, and strengthen the bases for strategic habitat conservation plans to protect or co-managed occupied habitat.