News Release

Golden-winged Warbler Working Group Recognized with Strategic Habitat Conservation Award by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U of M Crookston's John Loegering, Ph.D., One of 12-member Research Team

By ltollefs on
Friday, March 25, 2011

Under consideration for placement on the Threatened Species list by the U.S. Fish and GWWA-Dennis Malueg.jpgWildlife Service, saving the Golden-winged Warbler (photo at right), a small forest songbird, has brought recognition to a research team concerned with its survival. The Golden-winged Warbler Working Group was recently recognized for their efforts with the Region 3 Award for Strategic Conservation. The 12-member working group includes Associate Professor John Loegering (photo at left below)  who teaches in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

The award recognizes individuals and teams who apply the principles of Strategic Habitat Conservation in an exemplary manner to their conservation activities. The Golden-winged Warbler Working Group was a 2011 winner in the Notable Projects/Team Achievement category for their work in the Upper Midwest.

LoegeringJohnP-small.jpgThe Golden-winged Warbler can vanish quickly when its habitat is threatened and Loegering's research has centered on the examination of healthy, stable, but rare populations of this vulnerable species and developing effective strategies to preserve them. Members of the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group conducted comparable research throughout the range of the species.

To earn the recognition, the group had to meet several criteria: The work has to be landscape in scale; the team must demonstrate involvement with a multidisciplinary team of collaborators with complementary skills and interests and implement a science-based conservation strategy, strengthen the scientific basis for the conservation opportunity, and increase efficiency and likelihood of success, and the results must be shared so others may learn from the approach.
"One key benefit to this large-scale collaboration is that our potential management recommendations can be implemented broadly across the country," Loegering says.  "The research program is in its 4th year and as a part of the research team, I received a portion of the grant for field research during the past three summers. "

During the time he has been working as a member of the group, Loegering has employed six U of M, Crookston undergraduates, two of whom conducted undergraduate research as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program through the University of Minnesota. A third student, Senior Mike Johnson, will be presenting a portion of the work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Ithaca, N.Y., at the end of March. 

Loegering is jointly appointed to both the U of M, Crookston campus where his focus is on undergraduate education and the U of M, Twin Cities campus where he is focused on outreach and research as a wildlife specialist for the U of M Extension Service.

The Golden-winged Warbler Working Group involves work in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.  While much of the research is in the Midwest, it also includes a few East Coast states including New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania out of Region 3. Team members received a certificate and Challenge Coin, a specially minted coin that historically symbolized loyalty, and over the years, has come to represent camaraderie and teamwork.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

Photo of John Loegering by Patrick O'Leary, University of Minnesota, Office of University Relations.