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Researchers track golden-winged warblers from Western North Carolina to Central America to better understand this disappearing species. Research findings from the study shows that the loss in population is due to the disappearance of shrubby habitats. The loss in the Appalachian region is in part due to the conversion of agricultural lands to residential areas, changes in grazing practices to favor higher cattle densities, and land use for Christmas tree production.
The golden-winged warbler, native species to North Carolina, has been on the decline since the 1960’s. Little was known about the species until approximately 10 years ago, when different wildlife organizations came together to track their nesting and habitat areas. Recently, migration patterns have been incorporated into the research parameters, and collaboration between several South American researchers has been key.