Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) and American woodcock (Scolopax minor) provide millions of days of recreation each year for people in the eastern United States (U.S). These popular game birds depend on early successional forest habitats throughout much of the year. Ruffed grouse and woodcock populations are declining in the eastern United States as an abundance of shrub-dominated and young forest habitats decrease in most of the region. Continued decreases in early successional forest habitats are likely on nonindustrial private forest lands as ownership fragmentation increases and tract size decreases and on public forest lands due to societal attitudes toward proactive forest management, especially even-age treatments.
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Importance of early successional habitat to ruffed grouse and American woodcock