Important Bird Areas

Allegany-Garrett Grasslands

Maryland

Allegany-Garrett Grasslands IBA includes 6 spatially-distinct grassland sites in Garrett and Allegany Counties. The IBA includes agriculture lands and reclaimed surface mines, some of which are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This complex of grassland sites is dominated by pasture/hay land cover, accounting for about 67% of the area. Adjacent shrublands and deciduous forest represent 23% of the area, and sparsely vegetated barren land makes up about 4% of the IBA. The entire IBA is privately owned.

Ornithological Summary

The complex of grasslands comprising this IBA hosts a globally significant population of Henslow?s Sparrow, an Audubon/American Bird Conservancy Watchlist (Category Red) species which is globally vulnerable due to extensive loss of natural grasslands and severe population declines across its range. In 2009, Bird Blitz surveys counted 60 adult Henslow?s Sparrow suggesting an estimated 152 breeding pairs in the IBA. Bird Blitz surveys also demonstrated that the Allegany-Garrett Grasslands has a significant state level population of Watchlist species (Category Red) Golden-winged Warbler. This site supports one of the most diverse assemblages of grassland birds in the state with 8 species regularly breeding out of 13 possible for the Appalachian Mountains region. Included in this assemblage are Sedge Wren, which may breed here in some years, and Bobolink and Grasshopper Sparrow, which have sizeable breeding populations at the site.