Important Bird Areas

Fort Custer Training Center and Recreation Area

Michigan

The Fort Custer Training Center (~7,500 acres), owned by the US Department of Defense, is leased to the Michigan Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs. Fort Custer Recreation Area (~2,500 acres) is a property of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The IBA, which includes both of these properties (which abut one another directly) consists of rolling topography, and is primarily forested. Much of the site includes former agricultural lands now reverted to secondary successional forest.

Ornithological Summary

Highly important contiguous area of mostly oak-hickory forest close to two large population centers. Unusually large number of Brown-headed Cowbirds may reflect nearby airport.
Important populations of nationally vulnerable and/or management concern species; potential source populations for area sensitive neotropical migrants.

Conservation Issues

Major Threats (to 10-50% of resource) are non-indigenous flora/fauna, predation, and Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism. Local threat (<10%) is disturbance to birds.

Ownership

The majority of this IBA is owned by U.S. Department of Defense (Michigan National Guard), while a smaller NW portion of the IBA is owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Habitat

Military training center and adjacent recreation area. Primary habitat (&gt;50%): deciduous woods. Secondary habitats (&lt;50%): shrub/scrub, riparian, non-tidal wetland, lakes and rivers.

Land Use

Primary land uses (&gt;50%): Military training center and adjacent recreation area (hunting/fishing), nature conservation and research. Secondary land uses (&lt;50%): forestry.