MORAVIA, IA - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is hosting a public meeting on Jan. 24, to discuss a proposed designation of a region including Sedan Bottoms Wildlife Management Area as a state Bird Conservation Area (BCA).
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Rathbun Lake Fish Hatchery, located about 5 miles southwest of Moravia, along county road J5T immediately below Rathbun Lake Dam on the north side of the Chariton River.
"The proposed Sedan Bottoms BCA is a unique area containing grassland, woodland and wetland habitats that provide homes to at least 113 nesting bird species, many of which are declining at an alarming rate," said Bruce Ehresman, wildlife biologist with the DNR's Wildlife Diversity Program.
"From birds of large forests, like red-shouldered hawk and wood thrush, savanna species such as red-headed woodpecker and northern mockingbird, to declining grassland birds like northern bobwhite and bobolink, Sedan Bottoms Wildlife Management Area, along with the Chariton River and adjoining lands, provide the ideal southern Iowa setting for what could be Iowa's eighteenth Bird Conservation Area."
Creating Bird Conservation Areas is a high priority for the Iowa DNR. The Bird Conservation Area concept focuses on all-bird conservation at a large landscape scale, and the program's success depends upon partnerships between public agencies, private conservation organizations, and private landowners.
Each BCA consists of at least 10,000 acres with one or more core areas of permanently protected bird habitat surrounded by large areas of privately owned land that also provides important habitat for birds. Core public lands are managed for all wild birds, but especially for those species experiencing regional or continental population declines.
Wildlife biologists and private lands specialists work with willing landowners to find ways to improve their properties for birds. The program is entirely voluntary, non-regulatory, and can result in extra incentives for landowners to make bird habitat improvements.
"Establishing a Bird Conservation Area helps draw attention to the needs of birds that are in trouble, plus it allows the local community and concerned citizens an opportunity to take action to help these birds," said Jeff Telleen, area wildlife management biologist for the DNR. "Declining species ranging from game species like American woodcock to nongame species such as whip-poor-will all should benefit from the creation of the Sedan Bottoms Bird Conservation Area."