Highlights of Plover's Bird Conservation Efforts
Category 1: Creation and Protection of Habitat
A. An Ordinance to Adopt the Comprehensive Plan of the Village of Plover, Portage Co., Wisconsin, was adopted by the Village Board on April 6, 2005, and modifications are being prepared for further adoption in 2012.
B. For the past 10 years, the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society has developed and monitored an Eastern Bluebird nest box trail (ABT). In that time, the trail has grown from 89 to 1266 boxes and from 1 to 67 monitors. For the last three years the ABT has been the largest and most productive trail in Wisconsin. For the 2010 nesting season, this trail produced 6,251 songbirds, including 4,836 bluebirds. In the 10 years of its existence, ALAS has produced approximately 38,092 songbirds, including 29,626 bluebirds.
For the 2011 season in the Village of Plover, a total of 112 nest boxes were overseen by eight monitors (Don Ebbers, Jim & Barb Gifford, Dick & Karen Olsen, Joe Schultz and Bill & Jill Ziehr). Four Village parks were included in this monitoring. A total of 484 bluebirds and another 125 songbirds (wrens, chickadees & Tree Swallows) were produced from these boxes.
A key to the success of the Audubon bluebird trail is its weekly monitoring program. Monitors check all boxes and turn the data in for a weekly report prepared by Kent D. Hall. This approach yields several dividends including: 1) a comparison of what is happening throughout the trail and a chance to educate all monitors 2) a chance to address problems throughout the trail and 3) maintenance of high motivation and morale for the monitors. The ABT has been the focal point of great publicity and has helped develop a conservation conscience among dozens of people, especially children.
D. The Little Plover River has been a continuing source of concern for the last 10 years. In 2005 and 2006 portions of the river went dry. The potential existed for this Class 1 trout stream to be permanently damaged. The Village of Plover has been involved in the conservation of the Little Plover River since problems arose with the stream. The Village has moved most of its water pumping to Well #3 to prevent drawing ground water from the reservoir feeding the Little Plover. In addition, work continues on the purchase of 140 acres immediately adjacent to the river. This effort will reduce the amount of water needed by the two large capacity wells on this property. It is our hope that this land acquisition will not only stabilize the aquatic integrity of the Little Plover River, but will establish habitat that will support breeding birds and other wildlife. Our long-term goal will be to acquire another 150 acres of agriculture land that will completely eliminate two high capacity wells along the little Plover River and provide permanent protection to this gem of a stream.
Category 2: Participation in Programs Promoting Effective Community Forest Management
A. The Village of Plover has been a “Tree City” for 18 years.
Category 3: Limiting or Removing Hazards to Birds
A. The village maintains a web link to the American Bird Conservancy and its Cat’s Indoors Campaign http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/index.html . In addition, the ABC brochure Cats, Birds & You is being distributed free by the Village to the Portage County Humane Society, Oakview Medical Center, Inc., and Woodhaven Animal Health veterinary clinic. These three sites will use 200 to 300 of these brochures a year.
B. The Village of Plover website shows a link to “Window Alert” http://www.windowalert.com/. The Window Alert site demonstrates what to use and how to use window decals to prevent window collisions.
C. Village also has web links to Bird City Wisconsin and the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society.
Category 4: Public Education
D. For 52 years the Village of Plover has participated in the Stevens Point Christmas Count. Major portions of Sectors 5 and 6 lie within the Village limits and a small bit of the Village of Plover is also in Sector 4. A total of 49 species and 8,106 individuals were found on the 2011 Stevens Point CBC. Sector 5 has been monitored for 14 consecutive years by Kent D. Hall and other birding volunteers. During that time, 53 species have been recorded. In 2011, 31 species (a record) and 959 individuals were recorded. For the CBC, Sector 5 had high counts for Bald Eagles (3), Ring-billed Gull (1), Mourning Dove (120), Blue Jay (49), Common Raven (6), Cedar Waxwing (138), Dark-eyed Junco (86), Snow Bunting (6), Pine Siskin (62) and House Sparrow (80).
Category 5: Community celebration ofInternational Migratory Bird Day An IMBD resolution was approved by the Village of Plover on Feb. 1, 2012. The Village of Plover will hold its IMBD in conjunction with Stevens Point on May 5, 2012, at Iverson Park in Stevens Point. A special ceremony will be held prior to birding tours by five expert birders at this Park (a destination on the Central Sands Prairie Regional Trail of the Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail). Afterwards, the group will go to the Lost Creek Wetlands.
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