Block Island National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region


The following was taken from the 2008-09 Annual Habitat Work Plan, Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. For an explanation of the larger context for the following management actions, click on this link to the national Strategic Habitat Conservation/Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.

2008 Management Actions

Piping Plover
Refuge beaches, above the high tide line, were closed to the public in early April following the guidelines in the 1996 Piping Plover Atlantic Coast Population Revised Recovery Plan. In addition, habitat on local beaches was symbolically fenced to protect nesting birds, as per the cooperative agreement with the RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM), and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for these sites. All beaches were walked 2-3 times per week to locate nesting piping plovers and then monitored daily during incubation and chick rearing to document reproductive success of each pair.

At all of the beaches that successfully fledged at least one chick, the fledging rate exceeded 50%. Trustom Pond had the highest chick survival rate at 88%, followed by Quonochontaug at 79%, and East Beach in Watch Hill at 69%. No chicks were fledged on Block Island in 2008.

Monitoring and Surveys – Resources of Concern

Migrant Landbirds on Block Island:

With the support of two dedicated volunteers on Block Island, we were able to document fall migrating landbirds on the Kurz property. Scott Comings and Corrie Heinz contributed in excess of 59 hours each, volunteering on 13 days. This included two days in the spring (May 11 and 24) and 11 days in the fall between Sept. 20 and Nov. 1 2009. A total of 968 birds were banded of 59 different species. A summary of the 99 species banded over the past five years consistently documents the most common species on the island during migration are myrtle warbler. (Table 10).

Table 10. Species banded during fall 2008 at Block Island NWR, Kurz tract.  Species in all CAPS are species that were also banded at the Ninigret station this fall.  Includes data from 2004 to 2008.

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Last updated: January 10, 2012