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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Ellington Agricultural Center
440 Hogan Road
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6500
Intensive Management for Early Successional Habitat, Guided by the Needs of a Declining Bird Species in the N. Cherokee Conservation Opportunity Area

The birdwatchers and fishermen who visit Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area in the Southern Appalachians may not realize the degree of collaboration and management that goes into maintaining this ecological gem. Hampton Creek Cove (HCC) is a popular birding destination owned by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and managed by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) land trust.

The creek itself supports one of the most productive native trout streams in East Tennessee, while the old field/early forest succession at lower mountain elevation provides excellent nesting habitat for Golden-winged Warblers, a declining neotropical migrant species. The National Audubon Society designated HCC an “Important Bird Area” in 2005, even though it falls at the edge of the species’ breeding range. The HCC site supports the highest density of Golden-winged Warblers on the Roan Mountain Massif.

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