DNR Recognized by Audubon Society for Mattawoman Creek Bird Area

ANNAPOLIS (August 19, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be recognized by the Audubon Society for its support of the Mattawoman Creek and surrounding forestlands and for fostering the creation of an Important Bird Area (IBA). The dedication and celebration will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 21 at Mattingly Park in Indian Head.

“With this prestigious recognition, we continue to demonstrate how important our partnerships and conservation priorities are,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “This acknowledgment is another excellent example of the State’s land management practices and preserving critical areas for our birds and wildlife.”

Greg Butcher, the National Audubon Society's director of Bird Conservation, will speak at the ceremony. The society will recognize the exceptional land management practices of DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service and the Maryland Park Service at the Mattawoman Natural Environment Area and Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area. The society will also acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the Mattawoman Watershed Society in promoting habitat and wildlife conservation within this IBA.

IBA sites are chosen by the Audubon Society after meeting a list of criteria. The site must support: Species of conservation concern (e.g. threatened and endangered species); restricted-ranges species (species vulnerable because they are not widely distributed); species that are vulnerable because their populations are concentrated in one general habitat type or biome; and species, or groups of similar species (such as waterfowl or shorebirds), that are vulnerable because they occur at high densities due to their congregatory behavior.

Mattawoman Creek IBA encompasses 15,167 acres in Prince George’s and Charles Counties and extends from the town of Mattawoman downstream to Indian Head where Mattawoman Creek widens before entering the Potomac River. The boundary of this IBA is based on green infrastructure hubs from Maryland’s Green Infrastructure Assessment.

This area is a critical habitat for highly diverse forest interior dwelling species, supporting significant populations of three bird species on the Audubon/American Bird Conservancy Watchlist (category Yellow): prothonotary warbler, Kentucky warbler and wood thrush.

The ceremony will be a part of the Mattawoman Creek Lotus Blossom Festival, which is organized and sponsored by the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County, of which Audubon Maryland-DC is a member.

Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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