Michigan Technological University
Amber Roth, David Flaspholer, Chris Webster

NestGolden-winged Warbler research through Michigan Technological University (MTU) is focused on evaluating how Golden-winged Warblers and associated bird species respond to legacy tree (or green tree) retention in aspen forests of Oneida County in northern Wisconsin. Legacy trees are scattered live, canopy trees (often Northern Red Oak, Red Pine, and White Pine on our study sites) retained during the last clearcut rotation to increase structural diversity for wildlife as well as other reasons such as aesthetics. Retention of legacy trees is a potentially easy prescription for foresters to implement if this practice is found to benefit Golden-winged Warblers. MTU is collaborating with other scientists to determine Golden-winged Warbler productivity, population densities, and associated bird species in different regions of the breeding range and under different management regimes. Golden-winged Warblers are color-banded for individual identification during territory mapping and samples are collected at the time of capture for the genetics atlas project. Results will provide guidance for the Golden-winged Warbler Conservation Initiative and a conservation plan under development.

Funding for this research is provided by MTU, National Science Foundation, Wisconsin Focus on Energy, US Fish & Wildlife Service Region 3, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, and the Ecosystem Science Center at MTU. We are also grateful for the participating landowners including Wisconsin DNR, Oneida County Forests, and Potlatch Corp.

To check out a news story that started on the MTU website but ended up being picked up by approx. 50 newspapers and radio/TV stations across the Midwest, follow this link.

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