Refuge staff are managing habitats for birds under specific regional and National goals. The refuge is in Bird Conservation Region 30 which prioritizes bird species and habitats most in need of conservation. We have several of these high priority habitat types on the refuge including, freshwater wetlands, oak-pine forest, and shrubland. These habitats benefit species such as the Eastern towhee, Grey catbird, Scarlet tanager, Baltimore oriole, American woodcock, Willow flycatcher, and the Eastern kingbird. Unfortunately, all of these species are experiencing a population decline. Visit the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture site for more information.
American Beaver Activity
A variety of wetland habitat types are protected at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. Beavers play an important role in the formation and succession of some of these wetlands, and their activities are welcomed, but may be managed by use of enclosures and perforated pipe or other means to prevent damage to other habitat or refuge facilities.
Some areas of wetland on the refuge are experiencing invasion by non-native species, including the common reed (Phragmites). The refuge has been entirely mapped to determine the presence and location of invasive species, and control efforts, conducted with the assistance of volunteers, are underway for most invasive species. Helping us with this is the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers (SuAsCo) watershed Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA), a group of federal, state and local land owners and land managers committed to controlling invasive species within the SuAsCo watershed. To learn more about this cooperative effort please click here.
Open fields on the refuge are maintained in that condition to benefit a number of species of birds that require this habitat type by mowing every three to five years.
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The Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a medium-sized, semi-aquatic freshwater turtle that is a threatened species in Massachusetts. The New England population is disjunct from the main portion of their range. They require a variety of wetland habitats, make frequent seasonal overland movements, and therefore suffer mortality not only from direct wetland habitat loss, but from landscape fragmentation as well.