Have you considered a gift to support Audubon Vermont? Your support enables us to serve our mission of engaging people of all ages in education, conservation, stewardship, and action to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. We'd like to thank our current supporters and share some of the accomplishments our supporters helped make possible in 2012.
Forest Bird Habitat Demonstration Harvests: Beginning last spring, Audubon Vermont launched a Demonstration Harvests Project to support our Forest Bird Initiative, working with several partners to establish a network of nine demonstration harvest sites in Vermont and New Hampshire, with Audubon's own Green Mountain Center leading the way. The sites will showcase practices used to improve breeding conditions and will show landowners and foresters our silvicultural treatments in action. At each site we are conducting pre- and post-harvest vegetation sampling and bird monitoring and will use that data to fine tune silvicultural options.
Student Conservation in Action: Building on the success of our existing education programs, Green Mountain Audubon Center naturalist educators created the Urban Wilds Service Learning Program that serves Burlington-area high school students from OnTop and Rock Point schools. The program reaches students that have not had success in a traditional classroom, in hands-on habitat conservation and enhancement for threatened and endangered species within Burlington's city parks and green spaces. Students are provided with innovative science curriculum and research projects, connected to their interests, which foster their knowledge and leadership skills to serve the conservation needs of our community. Students also are learning new skills in both natural history and technologiessuch as GPS, which are essential to careers based in the natural sciences.
Creative Partnerships to Support Shrubland Bird Habitats: The Champlain Valley Bird Initiative took on a new project this year that engages Audubon Chapter members and other volunteers in surveying transmission line corridors for priority shrubland bird species. In 2012 surveys were conducted from West Rutland to Williston. This corridor runs directly through the southern Champlain Valley, which has been designated as a focal area for the Golden-winged Warbler. This bird, along with other shrubland species such as the Eastern Towhee and Brown Thrasher, have suffered significant declines over the past two decades. Additional surveys will be conducted in 2013 in Franklin and Grand Isle counties. Audubon will also be working with UVM to assess best management practices for shrubland habitat along these corridors and throughout the Champlain Valley.
Landowners Guide to Forest Birds: We developed a detailed guide, Managing Your Woods with Birds in Mind, designed to help landowners make informed land management decisions by providing them with information on birds, forests, and management in Vermont; some basic habitat assessment skills; and best practices for managing their woods with birds in mind. It complements the Forester for the Birds toolkit developed for and in conjunction with foresters working in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Landscape-level Conservation: In Tinmouth, we developed a new Forest Bird pilot project that has conservation biologists working with more than a dozen landowners to complete multi-parcel habitat assessments and management plans -- on 5,000 acres. This project will culminate in a coordinated management approach for landowners in the community which will be used as a model to help us replicate this approach in other landscapes across Vermont.