Montane Forest Bird Research and Conservation

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Throughout the Caribbean, montane forests support a unique assemblage of birds, including some of the world’s most rare and threatened endemic species. Some of these forests are also the preferred winter habitat of Bicknell’s Thrush, and they harbor large populations of other North American migrants like Ovenbird and Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Conservationists consider montane forests to be among the most at-risk habitats, as decades of deforestation have taken a heavy toll. In 1923 over 60% of Haiti's land was forested; by 2006 less than 2% of the land was forested. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Dominican Republic has lost nearly 65% of its forests.

Migratory songbird population connectivity for 31 conservation priority species found in Vermont.

Migratory songbird population connectivity for 31 conservation priority species found in Vermont.

Migratory birds are under a suite of selective pressures that vary between location and season, and they must be able to thrive in multiple habitats. What happens during one period of the annual cycle can carry over and affect subsequent periods. Unfortunately, a lot of research and conservation efforts focus on only one period of their life cycle. At VCE, we’re focused on the needs of migratory songbirds throughout their annual cycle – from the northern forest to the Caribbean montane forest.

 

 

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