U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Great Swamp
National Wildlife Refuge

An image of the Great Swamp Refuge in early fall.
241 Pleasant Plains Road
Basking Ridge, NJ   07920
E-mail: greatswamp@fws.gov
Phone Number: 973-425-1222
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The Great Swamp Refuge contains approximately 7,500 acres of swamp woodland, hardwood ridges, cattail marsh, grassland, ponds and meandering streams.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge contains nearly 7,600 acres of marsh, hardwood swamp, upland timber, streams and ponds, brush, and grassland, Great Swamp Refuge is home to a great variety of plants and animals. The Refuge was established as an area to provide migration, nesting and feeding habitat for migratory birds. As such, five impoundments are maintained to provide enhanced habitat during the spring and fall migrations, making the Refuge an important stopover along the Atlantic Flyway. The western half of the Refuge is intensively managed to maintain optimum habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Water levels are regulated, grasslands and brush are mowed periodically, nesting structures for wood ducks, bluebirds, and other birds are provided, research studies are conducted, and other habitat management practices are employed to ensure a diversity of habitats for a diversity of species. Grasslands provide important habitat for species such as the woodcock, eastern bluebird, coyote and red fox. Nesting structures and impoundments provide nesting and feeding habitat for wood ducks, black ducks, northern pintail, blue-winged and green-winged teal, ruddy ducks and other waterfowl species. Blue-spotted salamanders and wood turtles can be found in the Refuge's ponds and vernal pools alongside chorus frogs, wood frogs, spring peepers, painted turtles and spotted turtles. Moist soil units are a favorite spot for snowy egrets, great egrets, great blue herons, greater and lesser yellowlegs and other shorebirds. The eastern half of the Refuge was designated as the Department of the Interior's first Wilderness Area and is a favorite spot for warblers and resting waterfowl.

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