Invasive species, primarily plants, are found throughout the refuge. Invasive plants outcompete native vegetation, creating monotypic stands of undesirable vegetation that have little to no wildlife value. Refuge biologists go into these invasive habitats with iPad tablets to map the locations of the plants. Located invasives are marked in a grid map system with each grid being 50 by 50 meters squared. After the invasives have been mapped, biologists will apply water-based herbicides to eradicate the plants. While the spraying is being conducted, a biologist with the iPad tablet will enter the data into a database identifying the areas that were herbicidally treated and the areas that were not. With this monitoring technique, we can track how effective the herbicide treatments were and we are more efficient in data processing.
At Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, the areas where intensivemonitoring is conducted are located at the Holgate Unit (the southern end of Long Beach Island), and the former Forked River Game Farm in Lacey Township. At Holgate, Asiatic Sand-Sedge (Carex kobomugi) is an aggressive and dense invasive which has the high potential of colonizing prime piping plover nesting areas, reducing the likelihood of piping plovers to nest at that location. At the Forked River Game Farm, the invasive Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana) tree is an aggressive invasive that outcompetes native trees and shrubs in grassland and early successional habitats. Without the monitoring and removal of theses invasive plants, habitats will become single-species invasive habitats, providing little resource value to native wildlife populations.