The Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge maintains 27 ponds and lakes which provide water for many wildlife species. Some also serve as resting and feeding areas for waterfowl and water birds. Many of the Refuge's less conspicuous wildlife species (reptiles, amphibians, and fishes) depend on these water areas for homes and breeding areas.
Wooden nest boxes are erected and maintained in many of our ponds for wood ducks. Loss of suitable natural cavities in dead trees threatened these ducks in the early sixties. Thanks to the erection and managment of thousands of nest structures such as these, the wood duck has made an amazing recovery.
Several refuge ponds and lakes, including Martin's Lake, Pool D, and Lake 12 (see the Refuge Map in .pdf at our Publications link) are being managed extensively to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, water birds, and acquatic species. Water levels are lowered in the sping to encourage the growth of emergent aquatic vegetation. Lowered water levels also help to concentrate invertebrate foods in shallow areas, creating good feeding areas for water birds and shorebirds. In the fall, the water levels are gradually raised to flood portions of this vegetation used as food by ducks and geese.