Resource Management

Prescribed burn - USFWS.

Resource Management of Early Successional Upland Habitats (Grasslands/Shrublands)


Most of the grasses found in Delaware and the northeast are non-native cool-season grasses such as smooth brome grass, Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue and orchardgrass and will not be managed for in as refuge habitats. Instead, native warm-season grasses will be encouraged to grow and be maintained in designated grassland management areas primarily dominated by coarse textured, droughty soils as identified and explained in our Habitat Management Plan (HMP).

Predominant native grasses include switchgrass, bushy bluestem, little bluestem, foxtail barley and purple-top fluffygrass. These native grass species are stimulated by fire and easily maintained with prescribed burning or periodic mowing. Prescribed fire is a habitat management technique that can produce excellent nesting and brood-rearing habitats for birds of conservation concern identified in our CCP and HMP.

Prescribed burning is the most effective management tool to maintain and rejuvenate native grassland habitats. Mowing is a second alternative technique used to set back succession and reduce competition from invasive woody plants. Disking/chopping to expose bare soil is another management activity we may use from time to time to restore and maintain grassland and/or shrubland habitats. Based on annual habitat condition reviews, mowing activities would be conducted as required at the end of nesting season (April 15 to August 15). Prescribed burns would be conducted every 3 to 5 years during the winter months in conjunction with mowing or disking as needed to maintain and enhance the biological diversity and integrity of native early successional upland habitats on the refuge.

Trapping Occurs at this Refuge.

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. On this refuge trapping occurs only as a wildlife management tool and is prohibited by the public. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information.