To align KBO’s staffing to meet this forest bird conservation need, we are developing a new conservation delivery program area to help us further focus and scale up our efforts to translate science into even more conservation action. This new program area is poised for success because Jaime Stephens, who has been a leader at KBO for over 20 years, will be taking on a new role as KBO’s first Director of Conservation. Jaime has served as KBO’s long-time Science Director for many years, leading our extensive monitoring and research efforts. As the Science Director, Jaime has worked tirelessly to develop the partnerships and deliver our science, helping to grow KBO’s direct involvement in on-the-ground conservation efforts. These efforts have reached a level that warrants the creation of this new position.
ODFW, in partnership with the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network (KSON), received a $2.78 million federal grant from America the Beautiful Challenge program to conduct oak-prairie habitat restoration in the Upper Rogue watershed. The funding comes from multiple federal agencies and complements match funding from private donations designated for landscape-scale conservation work directed by the state, tribal, nonprofit, and working-lands partners.
The federal grant will help support two ongoing oak restoration initiatives. The Upper Rogue Oak Initiative builds on a recently awarded $7 million investment from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and $3 million matching funds to KSON’s Little Butte Oak Initiative. Support for both initiatives will create landscape resiliency and wildlife connectivity. The additional investment expands the initiatives’ geographic reach by restoring 800 acres of oak habitat using prescribed fire, ecological thinning to reduce conifer encroachment, noxious w…
The updated Partners in Flight Conservation Strategy for Landbirds in Sagebrush-Steppe and Riparian Habitats of Eastern Oregon and Washington (Rockwell 2022) brings forward recommendations to assist the planning efforts and habitat management actions of land managers and stimulate monitoring and research to support landbird conservation. This document encompasses sagebrush-steppe, riparian, and unique habitats in several ecoregions including the Owyhee Uplands, Northern Great Basin (sometimes referred to as Basin and Range), and High Lava Plains in Oregon, the Palouse Prairie in Washington, and the Columbia Basin in Washington and Oregon but also including an extension up the Okanagan Valley to the Canadian border.
A newly released State of the Birds report for the United States reveals a tale of two trends, one hopeful, one dire. Historically we have demonstrated that investment in bird conservation can pay off – for example, we have recovered at-risk species like waterfowl and the Peregrine Falcons by focused resources and efforts. However, North American populations continue to show widespread declines. In the west, forest-dependent and wetland birds are both showing a more recent decline that is of grave concern.
Each year, Klamath Bird Observatory offers a Conservation Stamp Set for purchase with proceeds supporting both national and regional conservation efforts. The 2022-2023 Conservation Science Stamp tells the story of the Balck-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens), a migratory bird that breeds in Pacific Northwest oak-conifer habitats and winters in oak-pine and cloud forest habitats in western Mexico and Central America. Proceeds from this year’s Science Stamp support our international bird banding program. By purchasing this year’s Conservation Science Stamp you are supporting international bird conservation partnerships, monitoring, and education. Purchase yours today!
Join Klamath Bird Observatory and Vesper Meadow Education Program for the premiere of the short film “From the Field – A Study of the Oregon Vesper Sparrow” by Dan Thiede. We will hear from Program Director Jeanine Moy about the restoration work and connection to the community being done at Vesper Meadow. Then Dr. Sarah Rockwell will give a brief talk about the research KBO is conducting on the Oregon Vesper Sparrow, followed by a short walk in Vesper Meadow to a Motus node. The afternoon will conclude with a showing of the film, with time afterward for discussion and questions. Come learn about this little brown bird and experience one of the beautiful places it calls home! Registration is required.
We are excited to announce that the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network (KSON) has received funding from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB)’s Focused Investment Partnerships grant program for the Little Butte Oak Initiative. KSON partners plan to restore 2,480 acres of oak habitat within the Little Butte Creek Watershed and Table Rocks using ecological thinning, prescribed fire, noxious weed abatement, and native understory planting.
The updated Partners in Flight Conservation of Landbirds and Associated Habitats and Ecosystems in the East Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington (Altman and Stephens 2022) brings forward recommendations and support for the conservation of landbirds and their associated habitats and ecosystems in the East Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington. The desired habitat attributes of 24 focal species are used as a conservation tool providing an opportunity to achieve broad ecosystem and restoration goals.
The newly released conservation plan, Population and Habitat Objectives for Landbirds in Prairies, Oak, and Riparian Habitats of Western Oregon and Washington (Rockwell et al 2022), provides quantitative and multi-scaled population and habitat objectives for 26 focal and seven imperiled bird species. As the title suggests, the plan focuses on prairie, oak, and riparian habitats in the Puget Lowlands, Willamette Valley, and Klamath Mountains ecoregions of western Oregon and Washington. This document was prepared for the Oregon-Washington Chapter of Partners in Flight (PIF), Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service.
Spring has sprung, and migratory birds are making their way back to the Klamath Siskiyou Bioregion. Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) is preparing by dusting off field gear, mapping out survey sites, and hiring summer staff. Each staff member has their own favorite thing to look forward to this field season: starting a new project, expanding an active project, or wrapping up data collection. This issue highlights the work of Dr. Sarah Rockwell and her team.