Partner: Grand Isle Migratory Bird Sanctuary
The Grand Isle Migratory Bird Sanctuary is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana (TNCL). The Sanctuary was created to protect critically important migratory bird stopover habitat. The barrier island’s location on the northern perimeter of the Gulf of Mexico makes it a point of first and last landfall for birds migrating across the Gulf. The forest on Grand Isle provides prime stopover habitat for Neotropical migratory birds because the live oak trees, associated chenier vegetation and ponds provide not only a place of rest but also food, fresh water, and shelter.
The maritime live oak forest on Grand Isle is categorized as an extremely rare Barrier Island Live Oak Forest. It has been declared a globally unique and critically imperiled habitat in Louisiana’s Wildlife Action Plan. The uniqueness of this ecosystem alone warrants its protection.
The Orleans Audubon Society has been committed to preserving this barrier island woodland for over a quarter of a century, when we began to search for the means to preserve Grand Isle’s remnant forests. Those plans came to fruition in 1998, when the TNCL began the acquisition of its sanctuary system. We have this long-term commitment because creating a Grand Isle Migratory Bird Sanctuary is the perfect way to:
· Showcase and protect one of Louisiana’s most unique habitats
· Attract visitors from around the world
· Preserve an area of local cultural significance
· Provide critically important stopover habitat for migratory songbirds
The Grand Isle Migratory Bird Sanctuary is the result of an ongoing partnership between The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana and Orleans Audubon Society, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Crescent Bird Club, Terrebonne Bird Club, and others.
Orleans Audubon helped TNCL raise funds for the cost of acquisition and management of the various stands of chenier, including the largest extant tract of 18 acres acquired on January 6, 2006. The Orleans Audubon Society continues its partnership with The Nature Conservancy to help migratory birds. On August 3, 2008, TNCL purchased another tract of maritime live oak forest on Grand Isle. This newest addition to the Grand Isle Migratory Bird Sanctuary brings the total protected area to 99 acres.