Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 19

classified, is perched on the summit of Wills Mountain at the southernmost extreme of the Game Lands. The barrens also includes a small 10- to 15-acre native grassland savannah remnant. Photographs from the 1940s clearly show this savannah, but it is being encroached upon by locust and striped maple. Grassy openings such as this one were historically more prevalent in frequently burned barrens communities. Why does this unattractive patch of Game Lands matter? The Wills Mountain scrub oak barrens is outstanding habitat for a diverse array of game and nongame species. White-tailed deer, bears, turkeys and ruffed grouse find reliable food and cover in the scrub oak thickets. Acorns are critical fall foods for these species and, because the high elevation (over 2,400 feet) of this scrub oak community makes the climate considerably harsher than habitats farther down the mountain, acorns are a particularly important food source. Scrub oak barrens also provide high quality habitat for a group of bird species closely associated with early successional forest and shrubland types. Among these are golden-winged warblers, chestnut-sided warblers, brown thrashers, common yellowthroats, eastern towhees, whip-poorwills, prairie warblers and yellow-breasted chats. Other, more common species with more general habitat preferences that also use the SGL 48 scrub oak community include dark-eyed juncos, black-capped chickadees, hairy woodpeckers, northern flickers, saw-whet owls and Cooper’s hawks. Bird surveys conducted by volunteers in 2009 suggest that the Wills Mountain barrens has considerable numbers of indigo buntings, prairie warblers, red-eyed vireos, black-and-white warblers and eastern towhees, as well as blue jays, tufted titmice, scarlet tanagers, ovenbirds, eastern wood pewees, common yellowthroats and chipping sparrows. Of all these species, the golden-winged warbler is the most imperiled. Populations of this warbler are declining at a most
AUGUST 2010

alarming rate. Evidence of declines in golden-winged warblers comes from the Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA). The BBA is a statewide survey of breeding birds conducted from 198489 and again from 2004-08. In the earlier survey, golden-winged warblers were observed in 615 survey blocks (of a total of 4,928). During the 20042008 survey, these birds were observed in only 230 blocks, a decline of 63 percent in just 20 years. These declines are primarily the result of habitat loss due to fire suppression, natural succession of young forest and shrubland habitats to older forest, and intensive agriculture. Restoration efforts on Wills Mountain are intended to create and maintain ideal habitat for this bird. Scrub oak plants produce a fairly reliable acorn crop nearly every year, but their production declines as the shrubs grow older. Judging by the sizes and ages of encroaching tree species, the extent of trees and mountain laurel growing on the barrens, and local knowledge of disturbances in the area, the scrub oak community on SGL 48 has been persisting without a major disturbance since before the 1970s. In fact, extensive mortality to oaks from gypsy moth infestation in the 1970s and 1980s likely accelerated a takeover by black birch, striped maple and red maple in and around the scrub oak area. This further emphasizes the importance of proper management to maintain this habitat type. Funded by federal grant money and state funds, the Game Commission has embarked on an extensive restoration and management project on the Wills Mountain barrens that is intended to create catastrophic events to rejuvenate habitat for game and nongame species and to restore the ecological functions of the barrens ecosystem. Using a large machine capable of
19



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
Three Centuries and Counting
A Different Perspective
Trappin’ a Bobcat
Getting Extreme with Scent Control
Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
The Greatest Conservation Story in American History
Pennsylvania’s “Other” Fox
The Conneaut Lake Goose Chase
Looking Back Through Binoculars
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Three Centuries and Counting
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - A Different Perspective
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Trappin’ a Bobcat
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Getting Extreme with Scent Control
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Greatest Conservation Story in American History
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Pennsylvania’s “Other” Fox
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Conneaut Lake Goose Chase
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Looking Back Through Binoculars
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - NatureInse
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - NatureInse
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover4
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