Rose-breasted Grosbeak, photo by Thomas Schultz

A Brief History

The Wisconsin Stopover Initiative (WISI) was launched in 2005 by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in order to identify and protect the places where migratory birds stop while traveling between breeding and wintering grounds – called stopover sites – in the western Great Lakes basins of Wisconsin.

(Clockwise from left) Amber Roth, formerly of Sigurd Nelson Institute, Ted Gostomski and Joan Elias, National Park Service, and Yoyi Steele, DNR, assess migratory stopover sites at 2006 workshop in AshlandIn the first few years of the project, we gathered data from experts and developed migratory bird stopover habitat models to use as tools for identifying key sites. Since then, we have partnered with many agencies and organizations to apply those tools for developing appropriate conservation actions to protect and/or enhance key stopover sites in Wisconsin's Great Lakes basins.

To read the Wisconsin Stopover Initiative story, see our 2011 Natural Resources Magazine article, Respites for Migratory Birds: Saving Great Lakes stopover sites.