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

c/o Eastern MA NWR Complex
73 Weir Hill Road
Sudbury, MA   01776
E-mail: fw5rw_emnwr@fws.gov
Phone Number: 978-443-4661
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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The turtles spend most of their lives in these freshwater coastal ponds in Plymouth and Carver Counties, coming on land to bask (sun themselves) and breed in sandy soils. In addition to providing habitat for this endangered species, Massasoit NWR also provides habitat to a variety of birds that nest in the uplands and amphibians, reptiles, and fish that utilize the ponds. In addition, a variety of invertebrate species, many of which are rare, are found on nearby Myles Standish State Forest and may be present on the Refuge as well.

Crooked Pond is a typical coastal plain pond occupying a depression connected hydrologically to an underground aquifer; hence, the water level of the pond changes with the water table. The water level is usually high in winter and spring, and generally much lower by late summer, exposing the shoreline. Two other ponds, Island and Gunner's Exchange/Hoyts, are within one kilometer of Crooked Pond. The southeastern corner of Gunner's Exchange Pond and parcels on Island Pond are part of the Refuge. The upland habitat surrounding ponds on the Refuge is a mix of pitch pine — scrub oak and coastal oak/heath forest. Common species include: red maple, pitch pine, white pine, and scrub oak. The under-story consists of highbush blueberry, low sweet blueberry, bearberry and greenbrier. Pitch pine scrub oak communities need fire to maintain the community structure and diversity. The resinous, waxy cutins in the leaves of many of the plant species found in this community are highly flammable and easily ignite during dry periods. Today the area is generally protected from fire, resulting in a closed-canopy pine forest.

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