Great Egret, photo by John Krerowicz

WISI Takes Wing

The Wisconsin Stopover Initiative (WISI), launched in 2005, aims to place protection of migratory stopover sites, particularly along the Great Lakes, in the forefront of conservation.  Founded by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) with funding from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and State Wildlife Grants, WISI’s goals are to protect 30,000 acres (about 25% of total coastal zone acreage) of critical stopover habitat in the Lake Michigan basin and 6,000 acres (about 5% of total coastal zone acreage) in the Lake Superior basin over the next decade.

To meet this challenge, a myriad of partners – including federal, state, and local agencies as well as landowners, conservation organizations, private organizations, and businesses – work together to accomplish the following four key steps:

  1. Identify known priority migratory bird concentration sites;
  2. Characterize important habitat features of stopover sites;
  3. Map the known sites and the priority habitat features in order to pinpoint priority areas; and
  4. Apply appropriate conservation measures, such as land acquisitions or habitat restoration, to protect the priority sites.

Visit the WISI in Action page to read about current projects and past achievements.