Habitat management focuses on grassland, wetland, shrub and forest maintenance and restoration activities. Grasslands are maintained and enhanced by prescribed burning and mowing. Wetlands are managed for migratory birds by manipulating water levels to encourage growth of aquatic vegetation. Shrub habitat is maintained by occasional mowing and thinning larger trees from certain areas. Forest management includes selective thinning of undesirable species such as black locust.
The refuge conducts several annual and intermittent wildlife surveys including waterfowl, shorebird, land bird, breeding bird, frog, vernal pool and aquatic vegetation surveys. These surveys provide baseline information that will guide the refuge in future management decisions.
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The American kestrel (Falco sparverius), can be seen frequently seen at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The Service has tried to encourage this very showy falcon by setting up nest boxes on the refuge. The kestrel may be known locally as a “sparrow hawk” and is the smallest raptor in America.