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The Call of the Last Golden-Winged Warbler in Georgia

Cara J

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It had been over two years since the last golden-winged warbler was seen in Georgia, but Nathan Klaus and Jim Wentworth hadn’t given up hope when they set out to do their yearly transect survey around Brawley Mountain. Populations of the colorful migratory songbird, listed as endangered in Georgia, had been declining for decades partly due to the changing landscape from open oak savanna to closed-canopy hardwood forests. 2. Golden-winged warblers have declined in Georgia largely due to the disappearance of the savanna habitat they favor.Image Credit: David Cree “Our understanding is that the southern Appalachians were far from being a closed-canopy forest prior to the 1900s,” said Klaus, a senior wildlife biologist with the nongame conservation section of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). According to Klaus, the species found in the area were different back then and included spotted skunks, for example, as well as tk and tk that aren’t as common today. “We believe golden wings were part of that picture, too,” he said. “Golden wings are one of the best species out there to tell us what the southern Appalachians used to look like.” But as these oak savanna habitats disappeared in favor of hardwood [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/the-call-of-the-last-golden-winged-warbler-in-georgia/

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