The Eleven Point Watershed IBA was historically pine and pine-oak woodland and forest, mixed-oak woodland, and glades (Nigh and Schroeder 2002). Today, after a century of logging, fire suppression, and cattle grazing, the area is composed of denser second-growth forest and fescue pastures. The hilly breaks along the Eleven Point River were historically forested and remain so, with interspersed glades (Nigh and Schroeder 2002). Giant cane breaks occur along the Eleven Point River.
Fifty-three percent of the IBA is publicly-owned conservation land, comprising the US Forest Service?s (USFS) Mark Twain National Forest Doniphan-Eleven Point District (136,097 acres, 55,100 ha), and the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Birch Creek Conservation Area (CA) (5,577 acres, 2,258 ha) and Fourche Creek CA (128 acres, 52 ha). The Eleven Point River, and land immediately surrounding the river, are included in the US National Park Service's (NPS) Ozark National Scenic Riverways (within Mark Twain National Forest property).

{link:For IBA map, click here.|http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/usibac/2008_P6/MO2594m_ElevenPoint08.pdf}

Ornithological Summary

Territorial Cerulean and Swainson?s Warblers have been observed along the Eleven Point River within breeding dates in riparian forest and associated cane breaks. Bald eagles have also nested along the Eleven Point River. Bachman?s Sparrow have been observed in fields in the southern portion of the IBA. The Eleven Point Watershed IBA is included in the extensive contiguous forest of the Ozark Highlands, which provides suitable nesting habitat for forest-interior songbirds (Robinson et al 1995), possibly facilitating source populations (Donovan et al. 1995b). Other forest birds commonly found in the IBA include Hooded and Prothonotary Warblers and Acadian Flycatcher (Palmer and Palmer 2001).

Conservation Issues

The Eleven Point Watershed IBA overlaps MDC?s (2005) Eleven point Hills Conservation Opportunity Area, where the agency has identified conservation challenges of restoring fire-mediated woodland communities. USFS?s management plan for the Mark Twain National Forest Doniphan-Eleven Point District in the IBA includes pine woodland restoration through prescribed burning and stand thinning. These activities will likely greatly enhance habitat suitability for Pine Warblers, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and Bachman?s Sparrows, and may eventually provide habitat for the state-extirpated Brown-headed Nuthatch and Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Forest continuity should be maintained amidst woodland management to maintain suitable habitat for forest-interior nesting birds.

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