Numbers of the rare songbird, the Swainson's warbler, are increasing in the US, particularly on private pine plantations along the coastal plain from eastern Texas to southeastern Virginia.
The results of the study, which compiled data from 20 years of field studies, suggests that if current trends continue, forests managed as short-rotation pine plantations will support the majority of Swainson's warbler breeding populations by the end of the 21st century.
The Swainson's warbler has been a high conservation concern for decades as its 90,000 breeding individuals are sparsely distributed across 15 states in the USA.
The rarity of the Swainson's warbler was previously blamed on its finicky preference for large areas of densely vegetated breeding habitat in the southeastern U.S. and wintering range in the Caribbean basin. However research carried out in the 1990s revealed that this warbler could be found in a surprisingly wide spectrum of habitats, including young loblolly pine plantations in eastern Texas.