MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Federal conservation officials are looking for farmers and forest land owners in 18 West Virginia counties to help protect habitat for the golden-winged warbler.The Natural Resources Conservation Service is taking applications until April 1 for the Working Lands for Wildlife program. Its grants reward good conservation practices.Nationwide, $33 million is being allocated to support the survival of seven species facing population declines.West Virginia's program is focused on a migratory songbird that thrives in forests and grasslands. Though Appalachia was once a stronghold for the golden-winged warbler, it's now at risk of becoming a federally endangered species.
Loss of habitat is considered a critical threat. Preserving it can also benefit other species, including wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, mourning doves and rabbits.