Projects and Research

Over-Stocked Pine Plantation Conversion to Pine Savannah (including Longleaf Pine Demonstration Sites) - This forestry management activity involves a variety of partners to accomplish the goal of improved biodiversity in former commercial logging tracts.

Bald Eagle Monitoring – Established for the protection of the bald eagle in 1991, the refuge continues to support the Bald and Golden Eagle Act mandate by ensuring the lands are maintained for minimal disturbance and high quality habitat.  Eight eagle nest are currently on the property.  Spring and summer shoreline surveys confirm the annual use by our Nation’s symbol. FWS work with the College of William and Mary ‘s Center for Conservation Biology to tract nests, and evaluate trends. A morning survey can produce upwards of 50 individually unique eagle sightings. Such information has been helpful in determining future land acquisitions, use preferences, and production.

Invertebrate Monitoring - A key element for wildlife diversity involves insects. Many species require them to gain sufficient nutrients to survive. In a project with Virginia Commonwealth University a number of years, collections found that the refuge could have as many 10,000 species of beetles, not to mention the thousand of other taxa. Work with DCR’s Natural Heritage program annual surveys have been monitoring for use of the Frosted Elfin a butterfly species that uses Lupine to lay eggs. This endangered species utilizes area in VA.

Breeding Bird Surveys- Annually survey work is completed during the Spring months to evaluate presence of bird species within a variety of point location, spread within varied habitats. This survey can define trends and underline if management activities (I.e. Pine thinning, prescribed burning) is meeting its goals.