[CT Birds] Shepaug Forest Block Recognized as an Important Bird Area by Audubon Connecticut

Folsom-O'Keefe, Corrie cfolsom-okeefe at audubon.org
Sat Sep 10 09:23:07 EDT 2016

Dear CT Birders,

  Just wanted to share some good news.   Today, in partnership with Steep Rock Association, Roxbury Land Trust, and Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, Audubon Connecticut is recognizing a new Important Bird Area, the Shepaug Forest Block.   See below for more info. 

Thank you!

Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe
Audubon CT
Cfolsom-okeefe at audubon.org

Shepaug Forest Block Recognized as an Important Bird Area

Greenwich, Conn. - September 10, 2016 - Audubon Connecticut, the state office of the National Audubon Society, has recognized a forested landscape that spans 15 miles of the Shepaug River as an Important Bird Area (IBA).
  The Shepaug Forest Block is a landscape-level Important Bird Area. "It is different from many previously recognized IBAs in its size, nearly 14,000 acres, and in the number of landowners" says, Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe, Audubon Connecticut's IBA Program Coordinator. "Any landowners that are within the boundary of this landscape are eligible for the benefits of recognizing their properties as part of the IBA, including eligibility for IBA small grants or utilizing the IBA status as a way to bolster other grant applications."
  This IBA stretches from Lake Waramaug, to Steep Rock Association's Macricostas, Hidden Valley, and Steep Rock Preserves, to Roxbury Land Trust's Carter and Mine Hill Preserve, and includes preserves and easements held by the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust. "Working together, we hope to build awareness on the value of this landscape for birds and other wildlife" explains Lori Paradis Brant, Executive Director of Steep Rock Association.
  The Shepaug River and its tributaries are a very important area for the Louisiana Waterthrush (a species of continental concern). The IBA also provides important habitat for Northern Goshawk (state concern) and Whip-or-will (continental concern) and includes many habitat types recognized by the State of Connecticut as Critical Habitat. Lastly, the IBA includes Lake Waramaug, which hosts thousands of Common Mergansers each year during spring migration.
  "Knowing that our preserves are important to species of continental and state concern will help guide our stewardship efforts," says Susan Payne, Executive Director of Roxbury Land Trust. "We look forward to learning more about these species and their habitat needs."
  "The designation also helps land trusts identify ecologically valuable properties for permanent protection" notes Catherine Rawson, Executive Director of Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust.

  The overall goal of Audubon Connecticut's IBA program is to identify a network of key areas in the state that support sustainable populations of birds in greatest need of conservation. Once an area is identified, Audubon Connecticut works with landowners, other conservation partners, and the public to increase awareness about birds and the importance of the area to greatest conservation need species, improve habitat in the area, and find funding to support these efforts.

Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe, 203-233-0535

Audubon Connecticut, the state office of the National Audubon Society with more than 9,000 members in the state, works to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, research, conservation, and legislative advocacy for the benefit

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