Important Bird Areas

Raco Plains & Wilwin Wetland

Michigan

A composite of three ecoregions comprising sandy soils, jack pine plains, and xeric grassland ecosystems.

Ornithological Summary

Home to a large population of Spruce Grouse and Sharp-tailed Grouse. Also hosts a small but increasing population of Kirtland's Warblers.

Conservation Issues

Afforestation could reduce the amount of habitat available to Sharp-tailed Grouse. Disturbance of leks can be a problem, though most leks are remote. Climate change is likely to reduce Spruce Grouse numbers as this is close to the southern periphery of its range.

Ownership

Mostly Hiawatha National Forest (USDA Forest Service), with small portions of Wilwin Wetland within the Sault Ste. Marie State Forest, and a few private inholdings.

Habitat

Dominated by jack pine, with smaller amounts of non-forested wetlands/bogs and herbaceous grassland.

Land Use

Main uses are forestry and wildlife conservation. Recreational use such as snowmobiling and ATV use are secondary.