Who We Are

Our Mission

A public and private partnership to increase awareness, improve habitat, and engage landowners in conservation practices for birds and other wildlife within the Kickapoo-Wildcat Important Bird Area.


A healthy landscape of diverse native habitats and farmlands that supports sustainable populations of birds and and provides an enriched quality of life for all who live, work, and play here.

important bird areas

An Important Bird Area (IBA) is a site that provides essential habitat to one or more species of breeding or non-breeding birds.  To qualify as an IBA, a site must support:

  • Species of conservation concern (e.g., endangered or threatened species)
  • Species that are vulnerable because they are not widely distributed
  • Species that are vulnerable because their populations are concentrated in one general habitat type
  • Species that are vulnerable because they congregate together for breeding, feeding, or migration

For additional information about Wisconsin Important Bird Areas, visit: http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/iba/


  • The population of North American birds has dropped by nearly 30% since 1970, a loss of nearly 3 billion birds, with habitat loss as a key cause.
  • The Driftless Area provides continentally important habitat for birds.  The Kickapoo Valley Reserve-Wildcat Mountain Important Bird Area (KVR-WM IBA) is the largest block of forest between the Missouri Ozarks and Canada’s boreal forests.
  • Situated in the heart of the ecologically unique Driftless Area of Wisconsin and encompassing a National Natural Landmark, a state park, and a state reserve, the KVR-WM IBA falls within a Conservation Opportunity Area of continental importance.
  • 209 species of birds, both resident and migratory, have been found within the IBA.
  • Driftless forests, including those found in the Kickapoo Valley, support the highest concentrations of Cerulean Warblers and Wood Thrushes in the Upper Midwest. Both species are high conservation priorities.
  • Thirteen bird species considered rare in Wisconsin, including Louisiana Waterthrush and Kentucky Warbler, breed within the IBA.
  • The Kickapoo Valley’s Scarlet Tanagers winter on the rugged eastern slopes of the South American Andes, while the valley’s Baltimore Orioles and Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds spend the winter in Central American forests in the company of Howler Monkeys.
  • Golden Eagles from Canada’s Hudson Bay spend the winter within the IBA.


Map of Kickapoo valley area with Important Bird Areas highlighted

Header photo by Harry Peterson.