Partner Spotlight: Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture

Partner Spotlight: Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture

Migratory Bird Joint Ventures are cooperative, regional partnerships developed to conserve habitat for the benefit of birds, other wildlife, and people. Joint Venture partners share a common vision of diverse populations of native birds across the North American landscape, and they consider the health of landscapes and wildlife to be among the highest conservation priorities. By design, Joint Ventures employ collaborative partnerships to protect the habitat and connectivity that both birds and people rely on for their survival and well-being. WMI remains a committed partner to many Joint Ventures across the North American landscape including one of the most critical in the eastern United States, the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture (AMJV).

Golden-winged Warbler

The AMJV is a partnership designed to coordinate and implement bird conservation across the Appalachian Mountain range, stretching from Alabama and Georgia in the Southeast, to New York and New Jersey in the Northeast. The AMJV mission is to restore and sustain viable populations of native birds and their habitats in the region through effective, collaborative partnerships. The AMJV fully leverages its partnerships and interest groups to conserve native bird species by working to develop and maintain fully-functioning ecosystems with sustainable populations of the native birds.

The AMJV uses adaptive management, biological planning, conservation design and program delivery, followed by evaluation and research, to effect high quality habitat conservation projects across the landscape. To fund this coordinated and comprehensive approach, the AMJV uses an engaged Management Board that is representative of the diverse landscape and partnerships in the Appalachian Mountains to capitalize on funding opportunities focused on partnership priorities.

The current AMJV operational priorities include:

  1. Creating a desired landscape condition decision support tool
  2. Improving the AMJV Technical Committee structure, coordination, and communication
  3. Providing for habitat conservation and delivery
  4. Increasing involvement in improving wintering ground and stopover habitat for priority species
  5. Improving AMJV organizational performance
  6. Refining communications, education, and outreach efforts for the AMJV

These operational priorities will ultimately support the improvement and protection of habitat and landscapes critical to the survival of priority bird species within the Appalachian Mountain Bird Conservation Region. Currently, of the more than 230 avian species known to occur in the region, 107 are designated as priority species by the AMJV. These are species that currently have declining populations, and either breed or winter in the Appalachian region, although a few just migrate through.

Of these 107 species, Bewick’s Wren, Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Henslow’s Sparrow, Worm-eating Warbler, Wood Thrush, Prairie Warbler, American Woodcock, and American Black Duck are designated as species at greatest risk. Without substantial conservation efforts, these species will likely be in jeopardy in the near future. The AMJV remains committed to facilitating conservation actions and priorities that provide sufficient habitat and connectivity that will ensure the long-term survival of these and other designated priority species in the region.

Photo Credit
Tom Benson, Flickr
June 14, 2017