Wildlife & Habitat

  • Waterfowl

    Black duck - USFWS.

    Large numbers of waterfowl, particularly American black ducks, Northern pintail, and mallards use the tidal brackish marshes of the refuge in the winter. The extensive marshlands on the refuge are critical to the thousands of waterfowl that use the Atlantic Flyway.

  • Wading Birds

    Great egret - Steve Hillebrand/USFWS.

    Thousands of pairs of wading birds nest on nearby Pea Patch Island (the largest wading bird rookery north of Florida). During the breeding season, the tidal marshes of the refuges provide important foraging habitat for the wading birds that nest here.

  • Brackish Tidal Marsh

    Marsh - Gene Nieminen/USFWS.

    More that seventy percent of the refuge (2,200 acres) is slightly brackish tidal marsh occurring along the upper Delaware Bay and the southern end of Mannington Meadow. This unique habitat contains a mixture of fresh and saltwater plants and wildlife and is an important resting and feeding area for waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wildlife. The extensive marshlands on the site are critical to the thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds that use the Atlantic Flyway. In the winter, waterfowl, particularly American black ducks, Northern pintail, and mallards use the marsh. During the breeding season, the marsh provided foraging habitat for thousands of pairs of wading birds that next of nearby Pea Patch Island.

  • Forested Wetlands

    Forested wetlands - Rosalind Wu/USFWS.

    Almost 390 acres of upland forest and forested wetlands provided habitat for a diversity of life on the refuge. Amphibians such as Southern leopard frogs, New Jersey chorus frogs, and spring peepers rely on vernal pools for breeding habitat. The forest along the Forest Habitat Trail is considered one of the best examples of a high quality, healthy forest in southern New Jersey.

  • Grassland

    Grasslands in fall - USFWS.

    The 80-acre grassland area is used by raptors, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians throughout the year. The grassland provides particular nesting habitat for the Northern diamondback terrapin, a species of special concern in New Jersey.