An ecosystem model to restore endangered bird

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today unveiled an ecosystem-wide model to aid the Southwestern willow flycatcher and help western landowners.

The model will enhance or restore habitat for at-risk, threatened and endangered species while supporting working lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

The program builds on existing partnerships with landowners in the Southwest to support habitat improvement for the Southwestern willow flycatcher, along with 83 other species that depend on the same riparian ecosystem. This action will result in healthier ranges, more productive ranches, and more robust rural economies.

“By focusing on predictability on an ecosystem level, we will bring together an even larger group of agricultural producers in the Southwest to create habitat for the flycatcher and other wildlife,” said NRCS Chief Jason Weller.

“These efforts will not only support the many species that depend on this riparian ecosystem, but also help ranchers move to more sustainable grazing systems and give them the support they need to keep their lands working.” [photo credit: Will Lipsenthal]

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