Dr. Carol Bocetti of the California University of Pennsylvania, who leads the recovery team for the endangered Kirtland’s warbler, was among 56 teams and nine individuals honored as 2011 Recovery Champions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Bocetti received her award from Service Acting Midwest Regional Director Charlie Wooley.
Dr. Bocetti was recognized for her work with the Kirtland’s warbler, an endangered songbird found only in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario. Dr. Bocetti’s research and recovery initiatives have been a key factor in the growth of the warbler population from near record lows of about 200 pairs during the mid-1980s to the current estimate of more than 1,8700 pairs, surpassing recovery goals. Her research also documented the link between the size of jack pine stands – the warbler’s nesting habitat – and warbler productivity.
A member of the Kirtland’s warbler recovery team since 1998, Dr. Bocetti became the team leader in 2006. Working with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, the U. S. Forest Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others, she spearheaded efforts to develop a conservation strategy and commitment to managing habitat, a significant step toward recovery and long-term conservation of the species.