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Delmarva Conservation Corridor Project Restores Habitat, Links Refuges
Northeast Region, September 15, 2003
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Link to Northeast Region, USFWS; map of regionThe objective: Restore 800 acres of forest habitat, including forested wetlands in two focus areas collectively referred to as the Delmarva Conservation Corridor. The focus areas were designed, with the assistance of the Delaware Bay Estuary Project, to link the Blackwater and Eastern Neck national wildlife refuges in Maryland with the Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges in Delaware. The resulting forest habitat acreage will ultimately reduce forest fragmentation and provide travel corridors for migratory birds and potentially assist in the recovery of the federally-listed Delmarva Fox squirrel.

Through the project, one hundred eighty thousand native hardwood tree seedlings were purchased from the Maryland State nursery and 136,000 from International Paper Supertree nursery. The seedlings were hand-planted on 800 acres of agricultural land by professional planting crews contracted by the Delaware Forest Service. The crews were supervised by Partners for Fish and Wildlife program staff from the Northeast Region's Chesapeake Bay Field Office, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel and Delaware Forest Service foresters. Trees were planted on 720 acres in Delaware and 80 acres in Maryland, all within the corridor focus areas.

The majority of the acreage was restored in Delaware due to the degree of forest fragmentation and rate of forest loss the state has experienced in the past decade. Landowners participated in the initiative. Late summer monitoring of randomly selected sites (approximately 20 percent of the total acreage) revealed average survival rates of 85 percent.

NORTHEAST REGION, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE -- Conserving the Nature of the Northeast

Contact Info: Jennifer Lapis, (413) 253-8303, jennifer_lapis@fws.gov



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