In December 2005, the¬†Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI)¬†awarded the Greater Lake Koshkonong Area the prestigious designation of Important Bird Area (IBA).
The IBA program is an international effort to protect birds and their habitat. An IBA is a site that provides critical habitat for birds to nest, feed, spend the winter, or rest during migration. The site can be small or large, and can be public or private land. To qualify as an IBA, a site must meet objective, science-based criteria. Data submitted in the nomination are reviewed by a Technical Committee.
Designation as an IBA does not confer any regulatory status. The landowners voluntarily manage the area to meet the needs of birds and to practice general nature conservation. LKWA is working to include both public and private lands in the Greater Lake Koshkonong Area IBA. More information about the Important Bird Area program.
In late 2004, the Lake Koshkonong Wetland Association (LKWA) nominated the Greater Lake Koshkonong Area as an Important Bird Area (IBA).
We conducted two major bird surveys during in the spring and early summer of 2005. One survey was of the migratory duck populations. Over the weeks of April 2 – 16, the total number of ducks in the lake and in the marshes ranged from 8268 to 14,098! Large concentrations of Ruddy ducks and Scaup were noted, along with many Ring-necked ducks, Redheads, Bufflehead, Canvasback and Blue-winged teal. In total, 34 surveyors helped to collect the data!
The second survey was of nesting birds in the wetlands and adjacent uplands of the Greater Lake Koshkonong Area. These surveys were conducted between May 15 and June 15. Ten persons conducted surveys of nine sites. Key findings were significant numbers of Prothonotary Warblers, Marsh Wrens, Black Terns, Swamp Sparrows, and Acadian Flycatchers. In addition we observed Bald Eagles, American White Pelicans, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Belted Kingfishers, Red-headed Woodpeckers Hooded Mergansers, Virginia Rails, Dickcissels, Bobolinks, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.
These data were complied and submitted to the IBA technical committee for determination of whether we meet the definition of an Important Bird Area. In December 2005, the committee officially awarded the designation.