Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Early Successional Forest Habitat Improvement Completed in Northern Wisconsin
Midwest Region, September 29, 2011
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Fecon mower in action cutting dense brush in a Marinette County forest.
Fecon mower in action cutting dense brush in a Marinette County forest. - Photo Credit: Photo by Gary Zimmer/Ruffed Grouse Society

Due to an alarming decline in the population of the American woodcock, federal and state wildlife agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations, have been working together to improve early successional forest habitat.

Currently, listed as a species of Greatest Conservation Need in Wisconsin, the American woodcock has had estimated population declines of about 1.6% per year for the last 43 years. This decline has been largely due to habitat loss from a variety of factors, including human development, natural aging of habitat and changing management practices.

This past field season, Green Bay Field Office private land biologists collaborated with the Ruffed Grouse Society, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, County forestry departments, sports clubs and private individuals to regenerate early successional forest habitat across northeast Wisconsin. This partnership used the principles and practices outlined in the Service approved American Woodcock Conservation Plan to regenerate approximately 85 acres of habitat. The restorations involved the use of techniques such as woody plant removal, tree shearing, timber harvest, hand clearing and other approved management techniques. These acres are providing valuable habitat for woodcock and other species of greatest conservation need.

For information about the American Woodcock Conservation Plan, visit: http://go.usa.gov/9af

Contact Info: John Riens, 541-885-2503, John_Riens@fws.gov
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