Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cerulean warbler nesting area adds 80-acre protected zone

Bird’s Breeding Grounds Protected In Ozarks

By The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — The fastest disappearing member of the warbler family is getting a break in Missouri.

The number of the small, sky-blue bird — the cerulean warbler — has been declining over the past four decades. But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports it is getting a boost through the acquisition of an 80-acre plot of prime breeding ground for the warblers in the Ozarks.

The acreage is bordered on three sides by state and federal forest land, and the fourth side belongs to a conservation-minded private owner.

The 80 acres plugs the doughnut hole that, if cleared, would have allowed the intrusion of cowbirds and other predators that threaten many breeding warblers.

The American Bird Conservancy says securing the tract and keeping it from being cleared and developed will enhance the reproductive success of pairs breeding within a mile around the site.

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