Saturday, August 2, 2014

5 National Wildlife Refuges in New Jersey

New Jersey
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Region encompasses 13 states from Maine to Virginia. About 70 million people, nearly a quarter of the nation’s population, live within this area where the Service’s nearly 1,000 employees work in the regional headquarters, field offices, national wildlife refuges or fish hatcheries. Many of these 132 facilities are open to visitors and can provide exciting opportunities for wildlife dependent education, recreation and interpretation.

Part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Service conserves, protects, and enhances fish and wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations. Service biologists contribute to the health of our environment — and consequently our quality of life — by protecting and restoring important habitat, safeguarding endangered species, minimizing environmental contamination, and restoring fish populations. In addition, the Service provides funds to support state fish and wildlife programs and enforces federal laws protecting wildlife.

In New Jersey, we have five Wildlife Refuges: Cape May National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, the Great Swamp NWR, Supawna Meadows NWR, and the Wallkill River NWR.

Tidal Wetlands, Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge - photo

Not as well known to residents as the Great Swamp and Cape May Refuges, the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located in Pennsville, New Jersey. The refuge area is found along the Delaware River estuary just north of the Salem River in Salem County, NJ.

It is part of the larger Cape May National Wildlife Refuge and recognized as wetlands of international importance and an international shorebird reserve. The refuge currently owns approximately 3,000 acres. The tidal marshes that comprise nearly 80 percent of the refuge provide waterfowl with an important feeding and resting area, particularly during the fall and spring migrations.

The refuge supports visiting populations of black ducks, mallards and northern pintails during winter. Sandpipers and other shorebirds use the refuge marshes as a feeding area in summer and throughout seasonal migratory travel. Delaware's nearby Pea Patch Island Rookery hosts over 6,000 pairs of nine species, which make it the largest rookery of colonial wading birds on the east coast north of Florida. The marshes provide valuable foraging habitat for these colonial wading birds during the nesting season.

Warblers, sparrows and other migratory birds use the upland areas of the refuge as resting and feeding areas during migration and for nesting during the summer. Thousands of tree swallows forage on the refuge in the late summer. Ospreys, bald eagle, northern harrier, short-eared owl and barn owls also nest on the refuge.          Download the refuge brochure

USFWS Facilities in New Jersey:

Ecological Services OfficesRefuges and Wildlife Offices
Red Star-Shaped Bullet
New Jersey Field OfficeFlying Goose-Shaped BulletCape May NWR
Law Enforcement OfficesFlying Goose-Shaped BulletEdwin B. Forsythe NWR
Red Star-Shaped BulletElizabeth Law EnforcementFlying Goose-Shaped BulletGreat Swamp NWR
Flying Goose-Shaped BulletSupawna Meadows NWR
Flying Goose-Shaped BulletWallkill River NWR

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