DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is proposing to establish a bird conservation area in a wildlife management area along the Chariton River in southern Iowa near Moulton.

Bird conservation areas are at least 10,000 acres and include permanently protected bird habitat.

The proposed location is part of the Sedan Bottoms Wildlife Management Area, a 5,500-acre region of grassland, woodland and wetlands home to at least 113 nesting bird species.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Bruce Ehresman says many are declining in population at an alarming rate. They include the red-shouldered hawk, wood thrush, red-headed woodpecker, northern mockingbird, the northern bobwhite and bobolink.

The DNR plans a public meeting Jan. 24 at the Rathbun Lake Fish Hatchery to discuss the plans.

If approved, it would be Iowa's 18th bird conservation area.