Our Projects

Project Area

Bird Habitat Management for the Kickapoo-Wildcat Important Bird Area through Landowner Outreach and Public Lands Coordination

The interagency Kickapoo Bird Habitat Initiative will work to connect and improve bird habitat within and around the
Kickapoo-Wildcat Important Bird Area by coordinating management plans on public lands, providing public outreach
highlighting the importance of our area for migratory and resident birds, and connecting landowners with land
management recommendations and resources for bird habitat connectivity and enhancement.

Project Facts

List of Partners
The Kickapoo Bird Habitat Initiative (KBHI) is an interagency team representing Valley Stewardship Network, the Ho-Chunk Nation, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Mississippi Valley Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Trout
Unlimited. Our steering committee also includes local bird experts Barbara Duerksen, Eric Epstein, and Paul Hayes.

Objectives and Outcomes
Our primary objectives are to develop habitat management guidelines for birds at stand and landscape levels and to
provide both private landowners and managers of public lands with guidelines that improve habitat for birds, particularly
Neotropical migrants. On public lands, outcomes will be increased communication among land managers and
development of more consistent management plans prioritizing bird habitat for the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Wildcat
Mountain State Park, Mississippi Valley Conservancy Tunnelville and Wilton Hemlocks properties, and Ho-Chunk
Nation lands. For private landowner outreach, outcomes will be increased awareness of bird population declines and
practical solutions and implementation of management strategies that increase forest patch size, reduce hard edge effects,
promote native vegetation, control invasive species, and improve habitat connectivity within public lands and between
public and private lands.

Bird Species that Will Benefit
The KBHI’s priority species for the Kickapoo-Wildcat Important Bird Area (IBA) are mostly forest interior birds and include rare and state
threatened species (Cerulean Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush),
as well as representative species for the Kickapoo-Wildcat IBA (Wood Thrush, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Blue-Winged
Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Yellow-Throated Vireo, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Red-Headed Woodpecker,
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow). The habitat needs of priority species will help guide management recommendations,
and literature featuring priority species will assist with landowner outreach.

Land Area (Acres) and Habitat Types that will be Improved, Managed, or Protected
The focus area includes the 54,000 acre Kickapoo-Wildcat IBA, which includes 14,000 acres of private land. The Kickapoo-
Wildcat IBA features diverse habitats, but we will focus on promoting and protecting Floodplain Forest, Upland
Hardwood Forests (Mesic, Dry-mesic and Dry Forest), and Natural Conifer Stands (Hemlock-Pine).

Header photo by Harry Peterson.