Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Efforts Receives National Award
Midwest Region, May 8, 2009
Print Friendly Version
US Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program Assistant Director Paul Schmidt (left) presents 2009 Bird Conservation Award to MoBCI Chairperson Linda Tossing (center) and Kelly Srigley Werner (right).
- USFWS photo
US Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program Assistant Director Paul Schmidt (left) presents 2009 Bird Conservation Award to MoBCI Chairperson Linda Tossing (center) and Kelly Srigley Werner (right).

- USFWS photo

- Photo Credit: n/a
Acting US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Rowan Gould (right) congratulates Service employee Kelly Srigley Werner (left, past MoBCI Chairperson). 
- USFWS photo
Acting US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Rowan Gould (right) congratulates Service employee Kelly Srigley Werner (left, past MoBCI Chairperson).

- USFWS photo

- Photo Credit: n/a

In 2003, a group of conservation leaders assembled to address the decline of birds in Missouri.  Charlie Scott, Field Supervisor of Missouri’s Ecological Services Office, alongside the Missouri Department of Conservation, state Audubon chapters, and sportsman’s organizations was among the visionaries who helped form the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI), an organization interested in promoting bird conservation. 

“MoBCI’s greatest value is that it’s a place where all bird interest groups can coalesce as one powerful voice for bird conservation, but still allows for each organization to maintain its autonomy,” said Scott.

That vision has resulted in a very successful organizational partnership whose mission is to promote, advocate, and work towards the conservation of all wild birds in Missouri.  The primary vehicle to accomplish this mission is through competitive grants to restore native habitats across Missouri. 

Kelly Srigley Werner, State Private Lands Coordinator, has been active in the MoBCI Steering Committee since 2004, serving as Steering Committee Chair in 2006 and 2007, and said, “In six short years, the organizational membership has increased from 23 to 54.  Working in partnership with such a wide array of bird interests, in my view, solidifies Missourian’s commitment to conserving wild birds and their habitats, whether you are a hunter or a bird watcher.”

Working together towards reversing the trend of bird declines through habitat restoration is the kind of endeavor that won MoBCI the 2009 Bird Conservation Award for their excellence in partnership development and on-the-ground accomplishments from the Association of Joint Venture Management Boards and the North American Bird Conservation Initiative.  The award was presented to Linda Tossing, Current MoBCI Chairperson and Kelly Srigley Werner at the 74th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, in Arlington, Virginia, during the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Director’s Reception on March 19, 2009.

MoBCI assists others through a grant program, whose primary funds are provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation, totaling over $125,000 per year since 2003.  Matching funds more than double this amount to approximately $2 million over the grant program's six years.  Proposals are evaluated according to priority bird species they address, priority habitats addressed, relation to national/international bird initiatives, level of partnering, and other factors.  To augment dollars provided through the grant program, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is also utilized to help organizations, communities, and individuals with their habitat projects which meet the needs of Service trust resources.  Eligible grant funded activities include projects that restore, enhance and/or protect bird habitats on any lands in Missouri.

An example of the great work accomplished using MoBCI grant and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program dollars is an oak savanna/glade project in the Ozark Highlands of southern Missouri which helped a landowner restore nearly 80 acres of habitat for prairie warblers, painted buntings, and red-headed woodpeckers.  Work entailed removing invasive red cedar and other undesirable trees to open up the canopy, seeding some areas with native prairie species and using fire to stimulate existing prairie forbs and grasses which had lain dormant.

A community project exemplifies the tireless work of several hundred volunteers in the Kansas City area to eradicate invasive species along the upper stretch of the Blue River.  Bush and Japanese honeysuckle, garlic mustard and winter creeper are blanketing the native vegetation along this naturally flowing river which is comprised of many micro habitats including glades, gravelly river banks, bottomland hardwood forests, and rocky cliffs.  Both MoBCI and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program funds are helping the community battle these invasives which rob the river of its natural beauty and reduce the survival of native plants of the understory and mid-canopy.  Funds are being used to remove the invasive species and plant native trees and shrubs in their place for birds like Bell’s vireo, acadian flycatcher, and wood thrush.  This project is a great way to help children and their parents get outside and enjoy the bounties that nature has to offer.

“Sitting in a room with one another helps you communicate better and understand each other-- and the common thread with everyone in the room is quality bird habitat,” explains Srigley Werner.  “You just can’t beat the power of many joining in one voice for the purpose of bird conservation.”

As advocates, MoBCI hosts a 2-day conference each year to discuss challenging bird conservation issues like renewable energy, including wind power and cellulosic bio-fuels; invasive species issues; and this year’s theme will revolve around the newly released State-of-the-Birds report.

For more information on the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, please visit the website, http://www.mobci.org.


Contact Info: Kelly SrigleyWerner, 573-234-2132 x112, kelly_srigleywerner@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer