103 Headquarters Rd.
Managing Habitat for Woodcock, Waterfowl, Warblers and More!
Moosehorn provides diverse habitats for wildlife -
To learn more about habitat management on the refuge, please read the 2007 Annual Habitat Management Plan!
Historically, Maine's forests were occasionally cleared by agriculture and wildfires. Moosehorn's forest management plan seeks to mimic that process through timber harvest and controlled burns.
Moosehorn's forests are strategically harvested to create clearings, alder thickets, and young forests in close proximity to each other. These areas provide the diverse forest types needed by the American woodcock, and benefit many wildlife species including bear, deer, and grouse.
Small clear-cuts scattered throughout the forest provide openings and young, brushy growth that serve as food and cover for many wildlife species. Besides the American Woodcock, this also benefits other wildlife, including deer, grouse, bear, and moose.
Controlled burns reduce fuel loads by removing accumulated dead vegetation. Fires also help control trees and shrubs in blueberry fields and grasslands. Burning after a forest is cut minimizes the chance of wildfires, while improving habitat.
Fires return nutrients to the soil and stimulate new growth, providing food and cover for wildlife. Fires also help control tree diseases and pest insects and prevent wildfires by burning fuel.
Blueberry fields and Grasslands
Several clearings are maintained to provide courtship and roosting territory for American woodcock as well as food for other wildlife, including white-tailed deer and black bear.
If left untouched, these areas would soon become overgrown by shrubs and trees. They are kept clear through occasional through mowing and burning.
Wetlands are habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, and shore birds at Moosehorn. Four natural lakes and over 50 manmade waterways provide the birds with areas for breeding grounds and migration stops. Water plants are also important food for moose.
In the wild, beaver dams raise and lower water levels, inadvertently creating wetland habitats. Moosehorn uses dams to recreate this effect of flooding and draining.
Black ducks, Canada geese, and common loons can be seen on the refuge's lakes and marshes. Magurrewock Marsh abounds with goose and duck broods in mid-May.
In addition, great blue herons and American bitterns feed here during the warm, summer months.
Approximately one-third of the refuge is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The two wilderness areas (one in each division) are managed with a "hands-off" approach and granted special protections.
Most importantly, mechanical vehicles (including bicycles) are prohibited. Two trails for foot travel exist. Hikers should bring a topographical map and compass.
The wilderness areas provide habitat for animals that are sensitive to disturbance.