- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A five-year project to conserve a threatened warbler in West Virginia and several other states has won an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The funding is aimed at providing habitat for the cerulean warbler. Once abundant, numbers of the sky-blue bird have declined by about 70 percent since the 1960s. Habitat loss is a leading cause.

The Appalachian Mountains are a breeding stronghold for the warbler and mountaintop mining for coal has shrunk the bird’s habitat.

West Virginia University and the state’s Division of Natural Resources are among the many partners in the effort to restore habitat for the cerulean warbler.

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