New resources for planning management and conservation of wildlife habitat in northeastern and mid-Atlantic forests

A new resource titled Guidelines for Managing Habitat for Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need describes the landscape and forest stand-level conditions required by six uncommon or declining species in the northeastern United States. Managers of private and public lands may find the information useful for planning timber harvests, delineating ecological reserves, or minimizing the impact of permanent infrastructure.
The focal species addressed in the guidelines inhabit a wide range of settings, forest types, and successional stages in woodlands stretching from Virginia to Maine. The species are:

  • American marten – associated with large tracts of intermediate to mature northern forest
  • Bicknell’s thrush - a disturbance-adapted fir-spruce specialist occurring at upper elevations in New York and northern New England
  • Canada warbler - a charismatic songbird that benefits from wetland conservation and various methods of upland timber harvest
  • Rusty blackbird - one of North America’s most imperiled species, requiring young northern softwoods for nesting
  • Scarlet tanager - a colorful canopy-nester associated with multi-aged deciduous and mixed forests
  • Wood thrush - a ground-forager that nests in shrubs and young trees beneath a mature, hardwood-dominated canopy

Each set of guidelines also includes distribution and status information plus a two-page digest of management considerations for quick reference in the office or in the field.

These tools were developed with input from 85 public- and private-sector foresters, wildlife biologists, and conservation planners representing twelve states and three Canadian provinces. Funding was provided by the Northeast Regional Conservation Needs (RCN) Grant Program with a matching commitment from Plymouth State University and other collaborating institutions. The Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies administers the RCN program to support implementation of State Wildlife Action Plans throughout the region.