The Castor / Whitewater Watershed was historically oak-pine woodland with scattered glades in the north, with extensive pine and pine-oak woodlands and transitional bottomland forest further south (Nigh and Schroeder 2002). Today the forest is denser second growth with less pine. Remnant glades occur. Twelve percent of the IBA is publicly-owned conservation land, containing a portion of the US Forest Service's (USFS) Fredericktown District of Mark Twain National Forest (8,195 acres, 3,318 ha), and the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Amidon Memorial Conservation Area (CA) (1,114 acres, 451 ha), Castor River CA (9,902 acres, 4,009 ha), and Coldwater CA (6,817 acres, 2,760 ha).

Ornithological Summary

Bald Eagles have nested on the IBA. The Castor / Whitewater 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).

Conservation Issues

Shortleaf pine woodland restoration, through forest stand thinning and prescribed fire, is being planned by USFS for the Fredericktown District of Mark Twain National Forest. MDC conducts prescribed burns to maintain glades at Amidon CA. Forest continuity should be maintained despite woodland management.

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