The Power of Flight program is the largest public/private funding effort for bird conservation in the South. Grants in the Power of Flight program were awarded to:
National Wild Turkey Federation - To restore 3,000 acres of longleaf pine and wiregrass habitat on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida to make it more attractive to red-cockaded woodpeckers, Bachman’s sparrows, Northern bobwhite, and other native species. The project aims to increase the Eglin population of red-cockaded woodpeckers from 275 to 350 breeding pairs and achieve status as a recovery population.
Mississippi State University - To continue gathering natural historical information on marsh birds such as least bittern, purple gallinule, and king, clapper, and black rails. Little is known about these species along the Gulf Coast, and this project will provide critical data needed to develop management and conservation plans to ensure the continued long-term protection of these species.
Audubon Mississippi - To facilitate an integrated bird conservation plan for Mississippi. Audubon will focus on coordinating federal, state, university, and non-profit partners to work in concert to conserve beach nesting birds, colonial water birds, and bottomland hardwood forest birds. An education component will engage up to 2,000 schoolchildren in the state.
Georgia Wildlife Federation - To complete a three-year program to expand the popular Schoolyard Habitats Program by initiating training workshops for teachers throughout Georgia, with the ultimate goal of establishing a habitat in every elementary school. One new feature this year will be to create a training facility at the Federation’s headquarters.
Francis M. Weston Audubon Society - To develop a standards-based bird conservation curriculum for urban elementary students and their teachers in Escambia County near Pensacola, Fla. The program, which will include classroom instruction and field trips, will be delivered to 100 percent of the second- and fifth-grade students in 10 area schools.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - to accelerate translocation efforts for the red-cockaded woodpecker. Funds will support a biologist on the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida who will monitor potential donor families, with the goal of increasing from 20 to 40 the number of woodpeckers available for translocation each year. This is the fourth year this program has been supported.
Mississippi State University - for workshops for private landowners in Alabama and Mississippi to help them find ways to use conservation to diversify their incomes and also maintain their lands in a way that benefits birds and other wildlife. Business planning, marketing, liability issues and economic and ecological benefits will be addressed during these day-long workshops.
Quail Unlimited, Inc. - will address goals of the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative through improved management on private and public lands. Specific projects include habitat restoration on the Bankhead and Talladega National Forests in Alabama and on private lands in 15 targeted counties in Georgia. Many other species, including red-cockaded woodpecker, grassland songbirds, and gopher tortoises will benefit from this project, now in its third year of funding through Power of Flight.
University of Florida - to analyze data on wood stork habitat requirements with the goal of creating a model that will allow land managers to predict which sites are most likely to attract and retain stork nesting colonies. Because stork colonies can be highly transitory, predicting which nesting colonies to protect and manage can be challenging. This project will enable land managers to better predict which nesting colonies of this federally endangered bird are most in need of protection.
National Audubon Society - To continue the coastal bird conservation program on the Gulf Coast from western Florida to coastal Mississippi. This second-year project aims to reduce impacts of disturbance of threatened coastal birds by increasing site-level protection through local partnerships with property owners and others. The goal is to increase breeding productivity at large nesting sites to jump-start the local populations.