Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and partners recently put the final touches on a restoration project that adds 3.2 acres of seasonal, shallow-water wetlands to a private landowner’s Wetland Reserve Program easement in northeast Colorado.
This is a 50% increase in the site’s shallow-water wetland habitat that will be available to migratory waterfowl and shorebirds during fall and spring migration, which complements the property’s 370-acre mosaic of wet meadow, emergent marsh and mid-grass prairie habitat.
During site visits over the past two years while bringing this project to fruition, RMBO and partners have recorded more than nine species of waterfowl, Sandhill Cranes, Greater Yellowlegs, American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Wilson’s Snipes and three Short-eared Owls, a declining species in Colorado that potentially bred and fledged an owlet on the site.
This project was funded through a Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program grant obtained by RMBO, with matching cost-share and additional technical assistance provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources Conservation Service. RMBO will continue to provide follow-up assistance to the landowner and local NRCS field office for managing the property for wildlife values, including noxious weed control, prescribed grazing and hydrology management.
~ Colin Lee, Private Lands Wildlife Biologist