Best Management Practices - Appalachian Mountains

Biologists and conservationists have developed Best Management Practices (BMPs) to benefit the American woodcock and other young-forest wildlife in the central Appalachian Mountains region.

In general, woodcock thrive when the four different kinds of habitat that they need lie close to each other. We can manage relatively small tracts for woodcock, if all of the habitat types are present or if those habitats exist on neighboring lands. In fact, creating habitat on relatively small private holdings is key to bringing the timberdoodle back: Just because a landowner doesn't own hundreds of acres doesn't mean he or she can't do a lot to benefit woodcock.

On a larger or landscape scale, the goal of habitat management is to create a mosaic of quality habitat capable of supporting 500 woodcock. Research by conservation biologists suggests that 500 individuals in a population will likely ensure that population's viability. Studies done in areas managed intensively for woodcock show that a unit of 500 to 1000 acres should support approximately 500 woodcock.