Wonders of the Warbler


The Golden-cheeked Warbler (GCWA) is a migratory songbird that breeds in only 32 counties in Texas and nowhere else in the world. The Ashe juniper and oak woodlands in the heart of Texas form a very specific habitat that the warbler relies on to establish future generations. Unfortunately, this is also one of the fastest-growing areas of the country meaning that this species faces an uncertain future. Threats other than habitat loss and fragmentation include climate change, predation by rat snakes and Blue Jays, and nest parasitism by brown-headed Cowbirds. Recognizing these threats, Defenders of Wildlife’s Center for Conservation Innovation has analyzed changes in the quality and quantity of warbler breeding habitat over time and throughout the entire Texas range. The results were overwhelming: In the past two decades, 45% of the highest quality breeding habitat (and 13% of all habitat) has been lost or severely degraded. Learn more about the tale of this true Texan in our storymap and the preprint of a paper out for peer review.

Wonders of the Warbler
Lindsay Rosa
Senior Conservation Scientist

As a Conservaion GIS Scientist with the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders, Lindsay leads geospatial analysis projects to improve conservation policies and practices.