Guidelines for Managing Habitat for Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic Forests         A Project Sponsored by the NE Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to Support Implementation of State Wildlife Action Plans 

Click on a species name to open the corresponding guidelines in a new tab OR right click on a species name to download the pdf.

American Marten by Bailey Parsons CC by SA 3.0 copy BITH_by Charles Gangas -1793-2 copy Canada Warbler by William H Majoros CC by SA 3.0 copy RUBL by Rachel Rabinovitz Wood_Thrush by Amado Demesa CC BY-SA 2.0 SCTA by Dan Irizarry CC BY NC-SA 

  American Marten        Bicknell’s Thrush        Canada Warbler           Rusty Blackbird             Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanager

  Northern forests NY to ME  –  High fir-spruce NY to ME  –  Various forests VA to ME  –  Northern softwoods NY to ME     –     Hardwood and mixed forests VA to ME

The purpose of these voluntary guidelines is to promote stand- and landscape-level conditions that benefit uncommon or declining wildlife populations in forests from Virginia to Maine. Managers of private and public lands may find the information useful for planning timber harvests, delineating ecological reserves, or minimizing the impact of permanent infrastructure. The guidelines span a wide range of forest types and age classes and are well-suited for implementation on large properties that support multiple woodland values. All guidelines are based on current understanding of habitat requirements and management effects. We recommend that they be applied, evaluated, and adapted in the future as new knowledge is gained.

Each document includes:

  • A profile of the focal species
  • Discussion of wildlife status and conservation concerns
  • Guidance on where to create and sustain habitat
  • Descriptions of desired habitat conditions
  • Recommended conservation and management practices
  • A list of associated species that could benefit from implementing the guidelines
  • A two-page field guide to managing habitat for the focal species

The two-page field guides for each of the six species are compiled here. They serve as quick-reference companions to the complete guidelines, summarizing natural history information as well as management options for maintaining or enhancing habitat.

These guidelines were developed by High Branch Conservation Services and the Plymouth State University Department of Biological Sciences in concert with the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Diversity Technical Committee, the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, and Andrew Toepfer Natural Resource Mapping and Cartography.

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Texter Mountain Nature Preserve PA by Nicholas Tonelli CC BY 2.0 winter harvest in a mature softwood stand firstcutshelterwood_ccbyEliSagor copy


This project was supported by State Wildlife Grant funding awarded through the Northeast Regional Conservation Needs (RCN) Program. The RCN Program joins thirteen northeastern states, the District of Columbia, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in a partnership to address landscape-scale, regional wildlife conservation issues. Progress on these regional issues is achieved through combining resources, leveraging funds, and prioritizing conservation actions identified in the State Wildlife Action Plans. See for more information. The US Fish and Wildlife Service Northern Forest Land Management, Research, and Demonstration Program provided additional support for the rusty blackbird guidelines. We thank the eighty-five foresters, wildlife biologists, and research scientists from twelve states and three Canadian provinces who provided input on the format and technical content of these guidelines. We are especially grateful to Wagner Forest Management, Weyerhaeuser, and Dartmouth College Woodlands for hosting wildlife and forest management tours during the early stages of the project.

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Photo credits 
American marten (Bailey Parsons, CC BY SA 3.0), Bicknell’s thrush (© Charles Gangas), Canada warbler (William H. Majoros, CC BY SA 3.0), rusty blackbird (Rachel Rabinovitz), wood thrush (Amado Demesa, CC BY SA 2.0), scarlet tanager (Dan Irizarry, CC BY NC-SA 2.0), Texter Mountain Nature Preserve, PA (Nicholas Tonelli, CC BY 2.0), winter softwood harvest (unknown), first cut shelterwood (Eli Sagor, CC BY NC 2.0).