Approximately 18 acres of new salt marsh were created as a result of the landfill remediation project completed during 2004. This involved creation of a new inlet on refuge property, south west of the existing water control structure, with associated channels. The marsh surface was designed to include areas of high marsh, low marsh, salt panne, and mud flat habitats. To enhance the long term maintenance of this habitat we worked with Ducks Unlimited to design and install the water control structure.
Volunteers conducted shorebird surveys throughout the year at the recently restored salt marsh habitat. This site provided a stop over site for numerous shorebirds during the spring and fall migrations, as well as terns, gulls, wading birds and waterfowl throughout the year. A total of 55 waterbird species and sever birds of prey have been documented on the marsh since fall of 2004, with the most common species year-round being the three common gull species, followed by semipalmated plovers, double crested cormorant and semipalmated sandpiper. The peak of shorebird use occurs in August for the most common species (Figure 15), while smaller numbers of the less common species are also detected throughout both the spring and fall migration. Wading birds and tern species peak in July. American black duck are of course the most common species during the winter months.
Approximately 84 acres are currently in various stages of grassland restoration at Sachuest Point NWR. Fifteen of these acres are the capped landfill which is mowed every 1-3 years to prevent encroachment of woody vegetation. An additional 69 acres has been treated for invasive species and is being allowed to convert to a mix of native shrubs and grasses. We have been spot treating portions of these fields on a rotational basis and also targeting early invaders throughout this area to support its transition to native maritime shrub habitats over the long term. Fifteen new acres of invasive shrub was hydro-axed in January of 2007 and will be mowed annually and herbicided as needed until it is dominated by native species.
The landfill at Sachuest Point was mowed in the spring to reduce encroachment by shrubs and maintain the 15 acres dominated by grasses and wildflowers.
Field 1(12 acres) was mowed by volunteers during the spring.
This year the primary focus was on detection and removal of early invaders that are still confined to relatively small populations. This year we completed the third consecutive year of hand pulling of Garlic mustard. This is almost entirely a volunteer effort, which this year involved the Garden Club of America. Volunteers again hand pulled the garlic mustard along the trails at Sachuest to prevent it from spreading. Some populations have been eradicated through these efforts, but each year they find remnant patches.
Swallowwort at Sachuest was handpulled initially but when it started to produce seed pods the remaining plants were cut with weed wackers by seasonal interns and volunteers. Approximately one month later (Sept. 17-19) we returned and applied a 2% solution of Garlon 4 herbicide to the re-sprouts. The largest population is along the east shore of Field 1, but we also pulled individual plants found along the south and west edges of the southern fields.
The 15 acre field (Field 4) that was hydro-axed received a mow treatment in late July and was followed up with an herbicide application of ½% Garlon 3A & 4 (boom spray) on September 17-18, 2008. In addition, refuge staff applied a 2% Garlon 4 solution via the ATV and backpack sprayers on the septic field and field directly west of the visitor center. Target species included Black Swallowwort, Spotted Knapweed, Asiatic Bittersweet, Autumn Oliver, Japanese Knotweed, Japanese Honeysuckle and Multiflora Rose. A total of 1194 gallons of mix were applied (12 gallons of Garlon, active ingredient triclopyr) over 18 acres.
Knapweed was treated on approximately 3.3 acres around the building, on top of the septic field, and in Field 1 and 5 (approximately 2 acres) on Sept 17-19.
We met with the town to discuss collective removal of the Asiatic Sand Sedge (Carex kobomugi) that was discovered in the dune grass along second beach of refuge and town properties. A plan was drafted for removal, dune stabilization, and replacement planting, and is in front of the CRMC for review.
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Numbers of native New England cottontails are decreasing because of habitat loss and competition from the introduced eastern cottontail. the eastern cottontail adapts more easily to residential and disturbed habitats than does the New England cottontail, who prefers very dense shrublands.