One of the greatest threats to biodiversity is habitat loss. In one of the most densely populated states in the country, the refuge staff at Stewart B. McKinney works hard to protect a variety of habitat types in order to conserve foraging, breeding, and resting places for different wildlife species. Each year, we control human disturbance on the refuge by closing sensitive areas to the public, educating visitors about the USFWS mission, and staffing our units with qualified personnel to engage the public and encourage wildlife-dependent recreational activities on refuge lands.
The introduction of non-native flora and fauna has caused extinctions all over the globe. Invasive plant species can disrupt ecosystems by forming monocultures, taking over habitat of rare species, changing fire regimes, and by providing inadequate forage or cover for wildlife species. The refuge staff is busy preparing invasive plant management plans for all units of the refuge. These plans outline current target species for control and/or eradication. Invasive plants are typically controlled using manual, mechanical, and chemical methods. Species that we are concerned about include Japanese knotweed, garlic mustard, mile-a-minute vine, perennial pepperweed, and Japanese stilt grass.
Follow Us Online
Did you know that there is a native cactus in Connecticut? Yes, Opuntia humifusa or the prickly-pear grows in all eastern states except Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Although it is rare and listed as a species of special concern in the state, you can find it on several units of the Stewart B. McKinney NWR.