Do you know that the US shares many migratory songbird species with our neighbors in Central and South America?
Comply with us alongside the migratory path of the gorgeous Cerulean Warbler. And be taught what the Rainforest Alliance is doing to preserve the hen’s breeding habitat in Appalachia and its wintering habitat within the forests and low farms of Colombia.
The plush Appalachian woodlands of the southeastern United States are an ecological treasure, dwelling to greater than 200 globally uncommon vegetation and animals. Greater than 15,000 documented wildlife species, together with the caribou, moose, black bear, wild boar, fox, and quite a few small mammals thrive right here. The Appalachian area is dwelling to extra salamander species than anyplace else on the planet.
And like all residing forests, the Appalachian woodlands are the lungs of the area, offering oxygen whereas additionally absorbing greenhouse gases and stabilizing the local climate. They supply secure consuming water and clear air for hundreds of thousands of individuals.
Forest and Coal Nation
Almost 60 p.c of Appalachian forests are owned and managed by personal landowners—households, small companies, or a single particular person—who regard their forest as a residing asset for recreation, refuge, and revenue era. Whereas many personal woodland homeowners throughout the area have a superb report of forest stewardship, irresponsible timber harvesting has been the norm, reasonably than the exception, for many years. These forests are additionally being decimated for mountaintop removing for coal mining.
Appalachia: Robust Forests for Robust Communities
To deal with these pressures on a critically necessary US panorama, the Rainforest Alliance has joined with companies, foresters, the US Forest Service, and landowners within the southeastern United States to type the Appalachian Woodlands Alliance (AWA). The AWA works to preserve this forestland and improve the native financial system by advancing sustainable forest administration practices tailor-made to native wants. These practices embody the creation of vegetative buffers alongside waterways to boost water high quality, the administration of invasive species, and the advance of high-value habitats, together with people who host migratory birds and different wildlife species.
Check out this video that highlights how Rainforest Alliance is working to steadiness sustainable use and safety of Appalachia.
A Refuge for Migratory Birds
Appalachia’s forests present essential stopover refuge for migratory birds. The birds spend their breeding season in Canada and the US and fly a whole lot of miles south to winter in Mexico and Central and South America. These species embody the Baltimore Oriole, Broad-winged Hawk, Pink-eyed Vireo, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Scarlet Tanager, Tennessee Warbler, and the Cerulean Warbler.
Cerulean Warblers spend the breeding season—late April by August—throughout the Midwest and southeastern areas of the US, into Quebec and Ontario in Canada. They favor mature deciduous forests, these principally made up of bushes that lose their leaves annually. The birds eat bugs and forage excessive up within the bushes, transferring quickly from limb to limb looking for meals. Though sizeable populations may be discovered all through their migratory vary, roughly 80 p.c of the Cerulean Warbler inhabitants breeds within the forests of Appalachia in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In August, Cerulean Warblers start their superb journey south, flying throughout the Gulf of Mexico to the highlands of Central America. They’ll lastly accept the winter within the tropical Andean forests of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru. All through their migratory vary, birds rely upon high-quality habitats with a lot of obtainable meals to allow them to develop the fats deposits they should gas their journey.
Cerulean Warblers winter in Andean sub-montane forest, primarily between 3,280 – 6,562 ft (1,000 – 2,000 meters). Shade espresso plantations in Colombia are a critically necessary wintering habitat, supporting densities of warblers Three to 14 occasions larger than these of neighboring major forest. Shade espresso farms which have pure forest cover present migratory and resident birds with meals sources within the type of bugs and fruit nectar. These farms additionally present necessary ecological companies, corresponding to erosion prevention, the safety of contemporary water sources, soil nourishment, and carbon storage.
Shade Espresso Farms: Necessary Fowl Habitat
There are greater than 24,000 Rainforest Alliance Licensed™ espresso farms, overlaying 452,000 acres (182,000 hectares) throughout the species’ wintering habitat in South America. In Colombia, there are greater than 13,600 licensed farms overlaying greater than 280,500 acres (113,550 hectares).
On Rainforest Alliance Licensed™ farms, espresso grows in concord with nature: soils are wholesome, waterways are protected, trash is lowered or recycled, and migratory hen habitat thrives. The sustainable agriculture certification customary prohibits the clearing of any forestland for agricultural growth, and it requires the conservation of on-farm pure habitat. It additionally consists of necessities for shade cowl and the variety of tree species per hectare for agroforestry crops.
Because of the coaching packages and certification methods, greater than 1.3 million farmers at the moment are utilizing accountable strategies that defend wildlife habitat—corresponding to composting, the planting of native bushes amongst shade-friendly crops, and handbook and organic pest management. Farmers and wildlife additionally profit from watershed conservation, buffer zones alongside streams to forestall erosion, and organic corridors for migratory species.
BirdNote is grateful to the Rainforest Alliance for sharing this data as a part of our efforts to #BringBirdsBack.
Hear to those BirdNote reveals to be taught extra about Cerulean Warblers and different birds that rely upon Appalachia’s forests throughout migration:
Be taught extra concerning the Rainforest Alliance’s work:
This weblog was initially revealed on www.rainforest-alliance.org.
Picture credit score: Cerulean Warbler © Greg Lavaty