Habitat Projects

Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuary, Western Connecticut

Bringing Back Birdsong and Cottontails

In 1995, an heir of Margery Boyd gave the Litchfield Hills Audubon Society (LHAS) a beautiful 102-acre tract a mile and a half south of the town of Litchfield in western Connecticut. The property, Twin Brook Farm, was graced with meadows, thickets, vernal ponds, rock outcroppings, and woods – plenty of woods. LHAS designated the property the Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuary. One of three LHAS sanctuaries, it is now a popular destination for hikers and wildlife-watchers.

Penn State Experimental Forest, Central Pennsylvania

Refreshing a Habitat Management Area and a Woodcock Trail

In the 1930s, a wave of farm abandonment swept through the northeastern United States. In central Pennsylvania’s Stone Valley, in Huntingdon County, many farmers gave up on tilling the shaley soil and moved away, their lands purchased by the U.S. Resettlement Administration. Shrubs and small trees filled in the tired eroded fields, which soon began producing bumper crops – not of corn and oats, but rather of woodcock, ruffed grouse, deer, and songbirds like brown thrashers and indigo buntings.

Mattaponi Wildlife Management Area, Virginia

Where Woodcock and Quail Intersect

“Mattaponi Wildlife Management Area has some of the best woodcock habitat in Virginia,” says WMI biologist Steve Capel, “certainly the best woodcock habitat on a Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries WMA.”

The WMA, in central Virginia’s upper coastal plain, includes extensive floodplains along 6.5 miles of the Mattaponi and South Rivers – damp soils that offer prime earthworm-feeding for woodcock.

Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area, New York

Carving Out Cottontail Habitat in a Forested Setting

Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area includes 469 mainly forested acres, with some grassy and weedy fields, on a mountain east of the Hudson River where New York’s Putnam and Dutchess counties meet. The state Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) owns and manages the property.

Open to the public, the WMA is maintained as wildlife habitat. It’s also in a Focus Area for conserving the New England cottontail.

Grouse Enhanced Management Systems, Northern Michigan

GEMS Shine Bright in Northern Michigan

When people think of gems, they envision bright, multifaceted objects with great value. That’s an apt description of the Grouse Enhanced Management Systems (GEMS) that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is developing across the northern part of the state.

Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Rhode Island

Wildlife Follow Corridors Between Habitats

Powerlines transmit much-needed electricity, and they can also serve a completely different function: provide movement corridors for wildlife. That’s what’s happening on a right-of-way that bisects 3,745-acre Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area in southern Rhode Island.

Lake Erie Plains, Ohio

Spotted Turtles, Woodcock, and Massasaugas

Spotted turtles and woodcock are getting a boost from habitat improvements at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s 345-acre Geneva Swamp Preserve south of Lake Erie in Ashtabula County.

South Mashpee Pine Barrens, Cape Cod

Restoring Pine Barrens Habitat for Wildlife

The goal: Restore a neglected pine barrens on Upper Cape Cod to a productive ecosystem where New England cottontails, box turtles, buckmoths, whip-poor-wills, and dozens of other rare animals and plants can thrive.

Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia

A Holistic Effort Helps All Wildlife

Monongahela National Forest’s 919,000 acres lie in a region The Nature Conservancy considers “an area of global ecological importance” thanks to its many and varied habitats. This working forest is home to many kinds of wildlife and provides clean water, timber products, and recreation for humans from rock climbers to hunters.

Groton State Forest, Central Vermont

A Working Forest Pays Its Way

Since it was established in 1919, Groton State Forest in central Vermont has been a working forest. Today, managers continue to plan and carry out timber harvests that use the renewable, ever-growing stock of hardwood and softwood trees on this 26,000-acre holding. Logging operations provide jobs and yield wood products that boost local and regional economies. But this practical approach doesn’t mean that people and wildlife are ignored.