Thursday, March 23, 2006

DC Conservation Strategy

Among its many departments the DC government has an Environmental Health Administration, which in turn includes a Fisheries and Wildlife Division. (Many people seem surprised to learn of the existence of these programs.) In recent years the DC government has stepped up its attempts to restore and improve the remaining habitats within the District, particularly along the Anacostia River.

To guide that restoration process, the biologists of the Fisheries and Wildlife Division have prepared a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy for Washington, D.C., as required by the federal government. Similar strategies are being drafted by all the other states.

The document identifies species of concern, what sorts of habitats they require, and current threats to those habitats or to the species' survival. This includes an inventory of thirteen habitat types present in Washington. Thirty-five bird species have been identified as being of special conservation concern. (A list can be found here, with conservation actions here.) I must note that this blog's mascot, the cerulean warbler, is among those species, due to its overall decline across eastern North America and because it requires mature riparian forest for breeding.

The document is well worth a read for birders and others interested in the ecology of Washington, D.C.