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Resource Management

  • Management Goals

    Putting up a bluebird box - USFWS.

    Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge is actively managed for migratory birds, particularly waterbirds and raptors, and to maintain and enhance habitat diversity.

    Both upland and wetland habitats at the Seatuck Refuge are actively managed. Wetland management activities conducted at the refuge include restoring tidal flow, blocking manmade drainage ditches, open marsh water management, and wood duck nest box maintenance. Upland management activities include erecting osprey nesting platforms, brush hogging grasslands and upland shrub habitats, prescribed burning, restoring derelict lands to native habitat, white-tailed deer management, songbird nest box program, and an owl monitoring program which is conducted by the South Shore Audubon Society.

    Wildlife monitoring conducted at the refuge includes waterbird surveys, migratory songbird and raptor surveys, white-tailed deer counts, and mosquito sampling.

  • Prescribed Fire

    Prescribed fire - USFWS.

    This management technique benefits a variety of natural resources. In areas of Long Island where prescribed fire has been used, the refuge has been able to reduce fuels for protection from wildfire and restore a natural ecological process—fire—to wildlands. Burning helps to maintain fire dependent vegetation (pitch pine, warm seasonal grasses), manage grasslands, remove non‑native plants and improve feeding and nesting areas for wildlife.

  • Wetlands

    Aerial view of the refuge - Tom Iwanejko.

    In the 1930s, ditches were added to the marshes to drain them, assuming that drier marshes would reduce the mosquito populations. However, rain water still collected in low areas and mosquitoes continued to breed, and small fish that fed on mosquito larvae could no longer get into the drier marsh areas. Pesticides developed in the 1940s suppressed the mosquitoes, but damaged the marsh ecosystem. Today, an alternative to spraying insecticides is using Open Marsh Water Management. These techniques include filling in some of the ditches and creating new tidal creeks and ponds, which allow small fish and other mosquito predators back into the marsh.

  • Invasive Species

    Foxglove control - USFWS.

    Refuge staff are founding members of the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area. Networking with other members and attending periodic public meetings has helped us realize the most problematic species, develop mapping standards, prioritize treatment regimens and prepare outreach materials.

    Unfortunately, much of the habitat contain abundant invasive exotic plants such as purple foxglove, Japanese barberry, Japanese stilt grass and Chinese silvergrass.

Page Photo Credits — Aerial view of the refuge - Tom Iwanejko.
Last Updated: Sep 24, 2013
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