For many of us, we support conservation efforts simply because it makes us feel good and we intrinsically know that it is the right thing to do. Every once in a while, though, it helps to have some tangible proof that conservation efforts are truly paying off. When it comes to forestry efforts, one way to do that is to look at animal species and how much they thrive in areas where efforts are underway. Birds are some of the best indicators of success in this field.
Birds are important to forestry efforts because they act as a Litmus test of sorts regarding the environment’s water and air quality, climate change, and overall forest health. Simply put, if the birds get into a funk, there’s probably something seriously amiss.
A recent study revealed five winged advocates that can attest to the success of some forestry efforts. These five species of birds are thriving in the Southeastern U.S. because of sustainable forests.
- Wood Thrush
- Swallow-tailed Kite
- Swainson’s Warbler
- Prairie Warbler
- Brown-headed Nuthatch
The study was funded by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and led by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). The SFI is a non-profit organization that prides itself on funding research and community enhancement through its grant program. It ensures supply chains remain open, provides education and community involvement in the efforts. One of the most commendable attributes of the SFI is that it maintains the SFI Forest Management Standard, which is the only standard of its kind because it makes conservation research mandatory.
The benefit of the SFI Standards is that the forests that have been certified through the program truly act as a kind of natural laboratory. In the case of the birds listed above, researchers were able to better study the bird habitat and the impact of the conservation efforts.
The results of the study aimed at the birds listed above determined that sustainably managed forests have a significant impact on the health and preservation of each species listed. Furthermore, the study helped to determine the minimum habitat size needed for birds to successfully breed and nest. This information will go a long way in helping landowners manage their property by balancing profitable material harvesting and habitat preservation for the animals that live there.