Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fort Jackson Important Bird Area

Audubon South Carolina announces the recognition of Ft. Jackson Military Reservation as an Important Bird Area for South Carolina. Audubon, in partnership with BirdLife International, is charged with the identification and designation of critical bird habitats in the United States. Audubon also maintains a WatchList of bird species that are experiencing population declines, which is usually due to habitat destruction.

Fort Jackson Military Reservation received the IBA designation primarily due to its management of thirty groups of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, a federally endangered species. The site is also important for such WatchList species as the Bachman’s Sparrow, Southeastern Kestrel, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Prairie Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Wood Thrush, and Loggerhead Shrike, all of which breed at Ft. Jackson.

IBAs are identified by an analysis of bird populations and habitats and then approved by a Technical Committee made up of leading state bird experts. IBAs generally have a large concentration of birds, a wide diversity of bird species, or harbor rare or endangered species. Some state IBAs may also qualify as globally significant IBAs.

Although the IBA designation carries no protection, Audubon seeks to work cooperatively with landowners to monitor, protect and improve these habitats. The program complements and enhances other natural heritage protection efforts.

“As a voluntary program, the IBA recognition is meant to inspire rather than require,” noted Norman Brunswig, Audubon South Carolina’s Executive Director. “We seek to inspire greater appreciation and more sensitive management of priority landscapes, and to create partnerships that work toward expanded protections and community stewardship.”

No comments: