Collaborative Partnerships:

Wildlife

Woodpecker
A catch-and-relocate program helps the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker reproduce and increase its population.

Partnerships and Participation

The Southern Company system participates in many environmental stewardship programs to protect wildlife and conserve natural resources. These partnerships foster environmental improvements to ensure that the Southeast continues to be a healthy and desirable place to live. Partnerships include funding, but Southern Company system employees will also roll up their sleeves to pitch in.

Power of Flight

The Power of Flight program is a partnership between Southern Company—including its four traditional operating companies—and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The partnership funds efforts to conserve birds characteristic of the southern U.S. through strategic habitat restoration and environmental education. Efforts span the Southern Company system's primary service area of Georgia, Alabama, northwestern Florida and southeastern Mississippi.

 

Launched in 2003, the partnership is the largest public agency-private corporation funding effort for bird conservation in the South. Each partner contributes $300,000 annually with the combined $600,000 available through a competitive grant program. Grantees match all awards dollar for dollar (or more). In addition, the Southern Company system provides $60,000 annually to support the NFWF bird conservation efforts.

Fact Sheet (PDF 157KB) | More about NFWF | How to apply

Funding Goals and Objectives

The goal of the Power of Flight Program is to address the conservation needs of high-priority bird species characteristic of the southern United States, such as The Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Northern Bobwhite, coastal water birds and other imperiled species. Grants are awarded to support this goal and the following objectives:

The following activities are priorities of the Power of Flight Program:

  • Restore and manage critical coastal, wetland, and forest habitats to support targeted bird species.
  • Implement management activities for imperiled bird species in order to enhance populations.
  • Conduct outdoor conservation outreach, particularly involving youth and focusing on hands-on learning activities that advance priority bird species goals; projects involving an underserved demographic will be most competitive.
  • Fill critical data gaps to directly improve management strategies for priority species.

Accomplishments

  • Awarded 75 grants to 35 different conservation organizations and agencies
  • Granted more than $7 million; with matching funds, total on-the-ground impact of nearly $20.7 million
  • More than 408,000 acres have been restored or enhanced*
  • Red-cockaded populations supported have grown 180%
  • Grassland species benefitting from improved longleaf habitat
  • Protecting critical coastal shorebird populations
  • Disseminated conservation education messages to more than 1.5 million people*

*Figures are approximate and include completed and anticipated results, estimated for funded projects cumulatively through 2014. Education messages include displays and materials placed in nature centers and other facilities that received more than 1 million visitors annually.

2014 Grant Recipients

Four new grants were awarded in 2014 to:

  • Mississippi Land Trust- will apply fire on 7,760 acres of private lands to reintroduce fire to inactively managed pinelands and enhance bird habitat for multiple species of high conservation need. Targeted, localized prescribed burning campaigns will encourage the sustained use of prescribed burning by private landowners and ultimately seek to return fire to the landscape on a large scale. Partners include US Fish and Wildlife Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Mississippi Forestry Commission, National Wild Turkey Federation, Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council, and Mississippi State University Extension Service.
  • College of William and Mary- will conduct a Red Knot resight program along the Atlantic Coast of Georgia in fall 2014 and spring 2015 to be paired with ongoing programs within the Delaware Bay. The data produced on the population utilizing Georgia in the spring and fall will be used to analyze ongoing questions regarding Red Knot habitat choice decision-making on the south Atlantic Coast. The project will also develop a partnership to address the management needs of the species. Partners include the Center for Conservation Biology, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Non-game Section, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Dauphin Island Park & Beach Board- will preserve, restore, and properly manage 133 acres of critical birding habitat at the Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island by executing a comprehensive prescribed burn regimen and implementing an invasive species management strategy to enhance birding and wildlife habitat. In addition, highly visible educational signage and outreach and service opportunities will engage the public in conservation and natural resource issues. Partners include Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries, Alabama Forestry Commission, and The Nature Conservancy.
  • Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF)- will begin its second phase of a program that delivers technical assistance to landowners for the establishment or enhancement of native grasses. AWF will continue to maintain the 10 demonstration sites developed during the project's first phase and develop case studies and management bulletins to serve as educational tools for resource professionals, contractors and landowners. The project will establish 5,000 acres of native warm season grasses and support several bird species conservation initatives in Alabama. Partners include US Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Auburn University.

2013 Grant Recipients

The Power of Flight program is the largest public/private funding effort for bird conservation in the South. Four new grants were awarded in 2013 to:

  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources - to create, maintain and restore longleaf forests and native fallow openings on 3,550 acres of Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area as part of an ongoing long-term project.
  • Conservian, Inc. - to work closely with Alabama and Mississippi partners to monitor and restore beach-nesting bird populations and habitats and use local steward volunteers to expand field capacity.
  • Milliken Forestry Company, Inc. - to monitor 200 red-cockaded woodpecker clusters in the Apalachicola National Forest over a four-year period. Project will translocate at least 30 red-cockaded woodpeckers from the forest to populations on private, state and federal lands throughout the Southeast to support the Southern Range Translocation Cooperative (SRTC), a group of public and private entities working to recover the species. Based on previous years of total SRTC available birds, this grant will support approximately 22% of the total annual SRTC allocation of birds.
  • Operation Migration - to reintroduce whooping cranes to the Southeast, potentially adding 45 cranes toward the goal of achieving a self-sustaining population. They will use specially modified light aircraft to imprint and guide young-of-year Whooping cranes along a predetermined seven-state, 1,285-mile migration route each fall from Wisconsin to Florida, with the hope of leading a dozen juveniles next fall.

2012 Grant Recipients

The Power of Flight program is the largest public/private funding effort for bird conservation in the South. Three new grants in the Power of Flight program were awarded in 2012 to:

  • National Wild Turkey Federation, Inc. - to conduct activities in Georgia to improve red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) foraging and nesting habitats including commercial thinning followed by mid-story control on 500 acres, non-native invasive species eradication on 300 acres, residual coppice treatment on 500 acres, creation and maintenance of 80 RCW nest cavity inserts, wildlife habitat rehabilitation, native grass restoration and gate replacement. This project will provide quality habitat to ensure successful population expansion, with RCW populations anticipated to increase by 5 percent on an annual basis.
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources - to research the most effective "site-specific" means of controlling predators on four main study areas on the Georgia coast. Project activities include assessing predator densities, implementing a predator control plan, documenting American Oystercatcher productivity response to control techniques and developing a predator density "trigger" that will allow resource managers to determine, before the nesting season begins, whether a trapping effort will be required.
  • Alabama Forest Resources Center - to work toward the long-term goal of establishing a contiguous, viable population of 30 red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) groups by 2015 on the Enon and Sehoy plantations by providing RCW cavity inserts and conducting translocations, monitoring and other management techniques. Additional activities include planting 125,000 longleaf seedlings on 250 acres, surveying approximately 3,000 acres for American chaffseed and holding at least three landowner outreach group meetings.

Continuing grants were awarded to:

  • Milliken Forestry Company, Inc. - to monitor 200 red-cockaded woodpecker clusters in the Apalachicola National Forest over a four-year period. Project will translocate 20 red-cockaded woodpeckers from the forest to populations on private, state and federal lands throughout the Southeast.
  • Operation Migration - to reintroduce whooping cranes to the Southeast, potentially adding 45 cranes toward the goal of achieving a self-sustaining population. The project uses ultralight aircraft to guide young whooping cranes along a seven-state, 1,285-mile migration route each fall from Wisconsin to Florida.

2011 Grant Recipients

The Power of Flight program is the largest public/private funding effort for bird conservation in the South. Five new grants in the Power of Flight program were awarded in 2011 to:

  • The Longleaf Alliance Inc. - to build on the success of the 15-year Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership (GCPEP) by increasing management and restoration of critical bird habitat across the GCPEP landscape. GCPEP will conduct prescribed burning, mechanical treatment, invasive species control and ecological monitoring on more than 45,000 acres of public and private lands benefitting rare bird species. Additional prescribed fire experts will be trained through 10 National Wildfire Coordinating Group-level fire training classes.
  • National Wild Turkey Federation - to expand the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) population on the Oakmulgee Ranger District of the Talladega National Forest in Alabama. This project will restore 1,200 acres of underutilized habitat in the South Sandy Watershed into good quality foraging habitat. This project's focus area currently supports only one of the 49 active RCW clusters in the South Sandy Watershed (total population on Oakmulgee is 100). It is anticipated that this project will provide habitat to support four to five RCW clusters in the area.
  • Operation Migration USA Inc. - to utilize ultralight aircraft to guide young whooping cranes along a seven-state, 1,285-mile migration route each fall from Wisconsin to Florida. Ten generations of whooping cranes have been successfully taught this migratory route. The current population consists of 105 cranes, 44 of which were reintroduced to the population through a previous Power of Flight grant. This project will continue assisted migrations for at least the next three years from a new base of operations at the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County, Wis. The goal is to add 45 new birds to create a self-sustaining population of whooping cranes.
  • University of Georgia - to use State Botanical Garden-managed areas as demonstration sites for the public, promoting the conservation of high priority bird species of the southern United States. This project will remove invasive Chinese privet from 15 acres of highly degraded floodplain forest and establish canebrakes; develop Piedmont prairie habitat in a power line right-of-way using prescribed fire and horticultural enrichment with native grasses and forbs; implement several programmatic goals of Georgia's State Wildlife Action Plan that promote conservation of high quality bird habitat; and conduct public outreach to create awareness of techniques for the protection and recovery of priority bird species.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - to complement a larger effort to repair 18 water control structures within a nine-mile diversion canal, with the goal of ensuring freshwater delivery to Savannah National Wildlife Refuge wetlands. The project area consists of 338 acres managed for waterfowl. Once restoration is complete, the Refuge will be able to return the wetlands to a management rotation. As the Refuge gains a greater degree of water control, restoration projects like this will enable the Refuge to continue to provide quality habitat for wetland-dependent wildlife.

And continuing support is being provided under a Power of Flight grant to Milliken Forestry Company to accelerate translocation efforts for the red-cockaded woodpecker. This is a continuation of a grant formerly made to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008 for activities across the Southeast.

In addition, two grants supported by Power of Flight under the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife program are:

  • Conservian - to establish strong beach management and protection practices to restore beach-nesting bird populations and coastal habitats. This project will reduce coastal wildlife and habitat injuries by employing a combination of proven protective measures, guidance and education which will provide a demonstrable increase in coastal bird populations. Targeted species include Wilson's plover; snowy plover; American oystercatcher; black skimmer; and least, gull-billed, sandwich and royal terns.
  • Conservian - to develop a comprehensive manual for management and conservation of beach-nesting shorebirds and seabirds along the Gulf Coast.

2010 Grant Recipients

The Power of Flight program is the largest public/private funding effort for bird conservation in the South. Three new grants in the Power of Flight program were awarded in 2010 to:

  • Avian Research and Conservation Institute - to produce a rangewide strategic plan for recovery of the remnant, steadily-declining population of Southeastern American Kestrel. This project will prioritize specific sites; improve management of habitat and nesting opportunities; perform and evaluate translocations; and select reintroduction sites to establish captive-reared falcons. The project includes activities across the Southeast.
  • Alabama Wildlife Federation - to establish a minimum of 100 acres of native warm- season grass habitat on 10 demonstration sites in high-priority areas of National Bird Conservation Initiative regions in Alabama. This project will help break down native warm-season grass establishment barriers and increase the number, availability and knowledge base of resource professionals, land managers and contractors necessary to achieve increases in native warm-season grass habitat.
  • National Wild Turkey Federation - to establish and maintain Golden-winged Warbler habitat in the Chattahoochee Wildlife Management Area and the Chattahoochee National Forest in north Georgia through commercial timber thinning, timber stand improvement, herbicide stump treatment, non-native invasive species eradication, native warm-season grass establishment, road and ditch improvements and prescribed burning.

And, continuing support was provided to two grants under Power of Flight:

  • Operation Migration USA - to increase by approximately one-third the number of whooping cranes led south each year using an ultralight aircraft. Through this award increase, Operation Migration will assemble six staff member to condition, train and care for whooping cranes over the summer; imprint and condition up to 12 whooping cranes for southward migration in the fall; and conduct actual southward migration from Wisconsin to Florida. The migration route includes three states served by Southern Company subsidiaries — Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
  • Milliken Forestry Company - to accelerate translocation efforts for the red-cockaded woodpecker over a five-year period. Funds are supporting a biologist on the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida who monitors potential donor families, with the goal of increasing from 20 to 40 the number of woodpeckers available for translocation each year. This is a continuation of a grant formerly made to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over several years. The project includes activities across the Southeast.

2009 Grant Recipients

The Power of Flight program is the largest public/private funding effort for bird conservation in the South. Four new grants in the Power of Flight program were awarded to:

  • National Wild Turkey Federation - to accelerate the recovery of red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) populations by creating additional corridors between occupied and unoccupied clusters across boundaries of the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and Oconee National Forest. This project will help to meet the RCW recovery objective by enhancing approximately 1,000 acres of habitat through a variety of mechanical and chemical mid-story control treatments and approximately 10,000 acres by prescribed fire over a three-year period.
  • Florida Park Service - to implement priority management actions for the conservation of shorebirds and seabirds by expanding existing monitoring, predator control and educational programs. The overall goal of the project is to provide long-term protection of shorebirds, seabirds and their habitat.
  • St. Catherines Island Foundation - to determine if artificial incubation of American oystercatcher eggs is a practical and effective management tool for increasing hatching and fledging success. This head-starting project is designed to evaluate hatching and fledging success of manipulated versus natural nests; determine the return on investment of this management technique and its applicability in other locations; and to increase annual fecundity of local populations of American oystercatcher over the short-term while long-term habitat solutions are being resolved.
  • University of Tennessee - to establish much-needed capacity to bring additional resources, partners, strategic guidance and greater focus to geographic areas of high importance for the conservation of northern bobwhite and other declining grassland bird species. Northern bobwhite and other grassland-dependent species have decreased by up to 75 percent in numbers since the 1960s. This project will help realize region-wide habitat and population gains through staffing of key positions and restoration of identified bobwhite focal areas in cooperation with landowners within the Black Belt Prairie region of Alabama and Mississippi.

And, continuing support for three multi-year grants under the Power of Flight program was provided to:

  • Operation Migration USA - to increase the number of whooping cranes led South each year by ultralight aircraft from Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. This three-year grant is helping increase the number of birds released annually, with the goal of helping the flock reach a self-sustaining population level in four to five years.
  • Milliken Forestry Company - to accelerate translocation efforts for the red-cockaded woodpecker over a five-year period. Funds are supporting a biologist on the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida who monitors potential donor families, with the goal of increasing from 20 to 40 the number of woodpeckers available for translocation each year. This is a continuation of a grant formerly made to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over several years.
  • Project Orianne - to restore or improve 10,000 acres of longleaf pine habitat within the Apalachicola and Conecuh national forests, providing habitat for declining bird populations, such as red-cockaded woodpeckers and Bachmann's sparrow, and other species of concern, such as the gopher tortoise and indigo snake. This project builds on the existing infrastructure and expertise of the U.S. Forest Service by providing additional funding to implement proven land management practices within large tracts of contiguous forests on federal lands.

2008 Grant Recipients

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:

  • Milliken Forestry Company - to accelerate translocation efforts for the red-cockaded woodpecker over the next five years. 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 a continuation of a grant formerly made to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over several years.
  • Operation Migration USA - to increase the number of whooping cranes led South each year by ultra-light aircraft from Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. This three-year grant will help increase the number of birds released annually to 24, with the goal of helping the flock reach a self-sustaining population level in four to five years.
  • Atlanta Audubon Society - to develop a Georgia Important Bird Area conservation program to benefit American oystercatchers, red knots, and loggerhead shrikes. The program will help implement management techniques and involve local volunteers to improve habitat and increase species numbers at Joe Kurz Wildlife Management Area and along the Georgia coast.
  • Tall Timbers Research Station - to help develop a spatially explicit conservation plan for northern bobwhite quail and other early successional species for Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Workshops involving key agencies and organizations will be held to identify and prioritize landscapes that can serve as core recovery areas. Outcomes of the workshops will form the basis for revising the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, a 22-state recovery plan.

2007 Grant Recipients

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:

  • Wildlife Foundation of Florida - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Foundation to promote ecotourism and habitat conservation through birdwatching and use of the Great Florida Birding Trail. This project will facilitate a two-day birding tourism workshop for county officials and private landowners in the Florida panhandle and also fund improvements to the Great Florida Birding Trail such as interpretive signage, benches, trail improvements and educational kiosks.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - to restore approximately 200 acres of degraded tidal freshwater wetlands within the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and provide critical habitat for a variety of plants and animals. This project will aid in cleaning the network of internal canals to improve water level and restore the ability to effectively manage and maintain the wetlands, creating lasting benefits for wildlife and the public.
  • Mississippi State University - to provide a baseline of ecological information regarding marshbirds of conservation concern in coastal Mississippi. This is the third year Southern Company has supported this program and continues the effort to develop a coastal marshbird conservation program based on long-term monitoring, research and management.
  • Avian Research and Conservation Institute - to apply management and educational measures to increase nest success, productivity, and survival of swallow-tailed kites. The swallow-tailed kite population has seen a marked decline in the past fifty years and is considered a species of critical conservation concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This project will focus on lands proven to be habitually used nesting areas and apply management techniques identified as the most cost-effective ways to increase the population.
  • National Wild Turkey Federation - to restore 3,000 acres of habitat and support the recovery of red-cockaded woodpecker populations to the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and the Oconee National Forest. This project will create corridors between occupied and unoccupied woodpecker clusters across the boundaries of the public lands.
  • Francis M. Weston Audubon Society - to continue and expand a program for elementary age students in Escambia County, Florida, focused on Gulf Coast bird conservation with hands-on lessons and field trips. A standards-based bird conservation curriculum will be implemented, including: introductory classroom sessions, fields trips to the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center, follow-up classroom visits and installation of bird feeders on-site at school. The Center will also be augmented to include non-releasable raptors into the lesson.

2006 Grant Recipients

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.

2005 Grant Recipients

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:

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - This project, now in its third year, is accelerating translocation efforts for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Funds support the monitoring of clusters or families of woodpeckers on the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida to identify potential donor offspring to translocate to select locations in the Southeast where populations need to be increased to meet recovery goals for this species.
  • Council for Environmental Education - To establish a network of partners in select Southeastern cities to teach primarily urban youth about migratory birds through the Flying WILD migratory bird education program.
  • University of Southern Mississippi - Scientists will use weather radar, which can detect flocks of migratory birds, to map where they rest and feed during migration. The goal of this project is to identify areas in the South needing enhanced conservation and management.
  • Invasive Species Management, Inc. - To inventory all vertebrate species, native and non-native, that inhabit Horn Island, MS. Research will then be conducted to determine the impact of invasive vertebrates, such as nutria, on native bird populations. Results from this project may be used to develop improved bird management plans for the many barrier islands in the Northern Gulf Coast.
  • Mississippi State University - To monitor and develop baseline data for conservation of "secretive" coastal marshbirds (e.g., Least Bittern, King Rail, Clapper Rail, Black Rail, Purple Gallinule) found in tidal marshes of coastal Mississippi.
  • Tall Timbers Research Station - To investigate the effects of growing-season burns on breeding birds (Bachman's sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, and other grassland species associated with longleaf pine forest) and to provide better information to the public on the impacts of growing season burns.
  • National Wild Turkey Federation - To enhance management on 1,200 acres of longleaf pine in the Talladega National Forest, Oakmulgee District to improve habitat conditions for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Management activities will include thinning and burning, which will ultimately lead to the natural forest conditions preferred by the woodpecker.
  • Avian Research and Conservation Institute - to produce site-specific management recommendations for swallow-tailed kite nesting habitat on industrial, corporate, and private timberlands in Georgia and northern Florida. The international component of the research project will be the first to describe the annual cycle of this species in South America, a population for which the most basic biology has received little attention.
  • >Georgia Southern University - This project will create a unique waterfowl pond outside the new Ornithological Center to compliment their bird educational programs. This 1/8 acre pond will mimic the flora and fauna native to Georgia and showcase a variety of waterfowl and elegant long-legged wading birds endemic to the state.

2004 Grant Recipients

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:

  • Quail Unlimited - To improve northern bobwhite and grassland/shrubland habitat associated with the species in AL, GA, and MS through integrated habitat management and public education programs. Funds will be used to increase the amount and enhance the quality of the agricultural lands for nesting, brood rearing, and roosting, enhance management practices, and preserve and enhance the quality of rangelands.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - To translocate subadult red-cockaded woodpeckers from the Apalachicola National Forest to small, at-risk populations on private state and federal lands in FL, GA, MS, and AL. Funds will be used to support a biologist on the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida to monitor potential donor clusters for increasing the number of woodpecker offspring available for translocation each year.
  • GA Wildlife Federation - To continue the current Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF) Power of Flight grant that evaluated outdoor classrooms in urban areas of Georgia in order to develop general best management practices for outdoor classrooms on school grounds. Continuation of the first project is necessary to extend and adapt the general best management practices into a more specific local context for a pilot group of schools within the fastest growing urban counties in Georgia. The program instructs students, parents, teachers and community leaders about the value of schoolyards as green space and wildlife habitat. Wildlife habitat in schools provides homes and resting stopovers for migrating songbirds while also providing an outdoor classroom for students to learn about birds and other topics.
  • Friends of St. Andrews St. Park - To fund professional, educational exhibits on shorebirds, migrating birds, and turtles to preserve the dune habitat, the woodlands, marshes and sea grass beds in St. Andrews St. Park and other areas located in Bay County, Florida.
  • Ecosystem Restoration Support Organization - To support Project GreenShores which is a high profile, well-publicized, ecosystem restoration project located along the northern shoreline of Pensacola Bay, FL, in Escambia County. The project involves the restoration and creation of oyster reefs, sea grass beds, emergent marsh habitat, and shoreline buffer for Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as identified by NOAA Fisheries. Funds will also support the construction of a bird watching platform, including telescopes, free for public use. The objective of this funding is to encourage nature tourism development and environmental education involving birds. Educational signage installed on the birding platform will stress the importance of the emergent marsh habitat to the health and welfare of the various bird species.
  • MS Museum of Natural Science Foundation - To support the travel of educators to 37 underserved counties in Mississippi to teach wildlife programs, focusing on environmental knowledge and sustainability of resources. Students will be reached directly through hands on experiences which actively engage them in the learning process.
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources/State Parks - To create a 50-acre wetland area for birds and other wetland species at Panola Mountain State Park, near Atlanta.
  • Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge - To create a 1,500-foot walking trail with boardwalks and educational exhibits.
  • Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center - To expand dissemination of tools and a new technique that uses audio tapes to reunite parent raptors with their young that have been displaced from the nest, thereby reducing long-term caseloads for rehabilitation centers.
  • Mississippi Wildlife Federation - To train 20 volunteers that will teach citizens the importance of habitat in the Pascagoula River Watershed by using educational materials, such as a traveling Pascagoula River exhibit.
  • Tall Timbers Research Station - To assist with on-the-ground recovery and management of red-cockaded woodpecker populations.
  • Wildlife Management Institute - To launch an East Gulf Joint Venture partnership consisting of 19 organizations that will develop science-based, landscape-scale, mapping and decision support tools to improve longleaf pine ecosystems for birds throughout the East Gulf Coastal Plain.
  • National Audubon Society - To enhance or establish long-term bird conservation efforts for the region's threatened and declining beach-nesting birds on the Gulf Coast from western Florida to coastal Mississippi.

2003 Grant Recipients

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:

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service to accelerate translocation efforts for the red-cockaded woodpecker. Funds will be used to support a biologist on the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida to monitor potential donor clusters for increasing the number of woodpecker offspring available for translocation each year.
  • Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for research on a new technique that uses audio tapes to lure parent raptors back to young that have been displaced from the nest.
  • Quail Unlimited for 10 habitat restoration projects across the Southeast. The grant is helping to implement the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative by improving habitat on more than 17,000 acres.
  • Georgia Wildlife Federation to expand the group's Schoolyard Habitats Program to 55 urban counties in Georgia. The program instructs students, parents, teachers and community leaders about the value of schoolyards as green space and wildlife habitat.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in recognition of the National Wildlife Refuge Centennial being celebrated in 2003. Funding is being given to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia and to help restore about 350 acres of tidal freshwater wetlands.
  • The Nature Conservancy to restore 500 acres of wet pine savanna in the Mississippi Sandhill Crane/Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuges.
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources for pilot projects to refine techniques to economically convert pine plantations to functioning longleaf pine ecosystems on state lands.
  • Audubon Mississippi for help in developing the Mississippi Coastal Birding and Wildlife Trail, linking 50 sites between the Alabama and Mississippi borders.
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Foundation to support implementation of the Great Florida Birding Trail in the state’s panhandle region.
  • American Forest Foundation - to encourage bird conservation practices to Georgia’s 3,600 members of the American Tree Farm Society, who collectively manage more than 2.3 million acres.

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