The riparian habitat (habitat that borders the river) at Seedskadee NWR is made up of cottonwoods, willows, and many other plants that are restricted to flood plains or areas of permanent subsurface water supplies. These plants are dependent on water from the Green River for their survival. Similarly, many species of wildlife depend on riparian plants to fulfill their life needs.
Thousands of migrating song birds like the Rufous Hummingbird and Wilson's Warbler, rely on riparian habitat for refueling when traveling further north to their breeding grounds. Other songbirds such as the Yellow Warbler and Northern (Bullock's) Oriole stop to nest. Bald Eagles, several hawk species, Great Blue Herons, Moose, Mule Deer, Beaver, and Porcupine also depend on the riparian area.
Wetlands along the Green River within the Refuge boundary are created when water is diverted into natural and man-made basins. Refuge staff manage water levels to provide a variety of water depths. Birds such as Trumpeter swans and Ruddy Ducks prefer deep water ponds for nesting and feeding, while migrating shorebirds such as American Avocets, Long-billed Dowithcers, and a variety of sandpipers are attracted to shallow flooded mud flats to look for food. White-faced Ibis, Redheads, Cinnamon Teal, Pied-billed grebes, Sora Rails, Marsh Wrens, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and Muskrat are all common in the wetlands.
Sagebrush uplands dominate the landscape away from the river. The Refuge is fenced to keep domestic livestock from grazing and trampling vegetation so that forage and nesting cover remain available for the wildlife such as Pronghorns, Mule Deer, Greater Sage Grouse, waterfowl, and small mammals. Fenced water access lanes (water gaps) are provided so that livestock on adjacent grazing allotments can reach the river water without disturbing Refuge lands. Species that depend on large expanses of healthy sagebrush grassland communities include the Sage Sparrow, Sage Thrasher, Brewer's Sparrow, Ferruginous Hawk, Pygmy Rabbit, and Pronghorn.
In the continuing efforts to enhance refuge habitats, the staff also use management tools such as prescribed burning, native plant seeding, hunting, and control of invasive weeds. On hundreds of acres of the Refuge, invasive plant species such as perennial pepperweed and Canada thistle have become dominant, greatly reducing the value of the habitat available to wildlife on the Refuge. Biological, mechanical, and chemical controls are used to manage these invasive plants.
Last updated: November 29, 2012