Audubon Connecticut and CT DEEP recently announced the establishment of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Connecticut, including the Lyme Forest Block.
The Lyme Forest Block covers approximately 62,000 acres in East Haddam, Lyme, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Colchester, and Salem. Most of the eastern half of East Haddam is within the boundaries. The area is > 70% forested and includes East Haddam Land Trust’s Sheepskin Hollow, Ayers, Hammond Mill, Ballahack, Olde Field, and William Jezek Memorial Preserves. The Lyme Forest Block also covers all or part of the Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Watershed, Nature Conservancy lands, many private properties and several parcels of state land, including Devil’s Hopyard State Park, Babcock Pond and Zemko Pond Wildlife Management Areas, parts of Nehantic State Forest.
IBA designation is a global effort started by BirdLife International, in collaboration with many local partners, to encourage successful land and natural resource management – what we call stewardship. Currently more than 12,000 worldwide IBAs protect essential habitat for bird species at risk for population decline due to habitat loss.
The bird species of concern using Lyme Forest Block include cerulean warbler, worm-eating warbler, scarlet tanager, brown thrasher, eastern wood-pewee, and alder flycatcher. (Find info on these at All About Birds). These and many other bird species either nest or forage during migration in the young and mature forest of the Lyme Forest Block.
IBAs create voluntary partnerships that prioritize efficient use of conservation resources using a science-based approach for strategic conservation planning and habitat improvement. All land within an IBA may be recognized as part of the IBA. Such status may bolster grant eligibility for habitat protection or improvement, but places no legal or regulatory restrictions on land.
Find additional information at http://ct.audubon.org/ or at the links below.
Guidelines for IBA selection.
Stewarding home landscapes to improve bird habitat.