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

Photo collage of Missisquoi River, Environmental Education, Black Tern, Great Blue Heron Rookery
29 Tabor Rd.
Swanton, VT   05488
E-mail: missisquoi@fws.gov
Phone Number: 802-868-4781
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Missisquoi Refuge is located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain near the Canadian border. This 6,729 acre refuge provides habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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Maquam Bog is a 900 acre pitch pine woodland bog located on the northeastern margin of Lake Champlain, Vermont. It contains Vermont's largest populations of pitch pine, rhodora, and chain fern, a state-threatened species. The bog serves as an important wintering area for white-tailed deer and provides feeding and breeding areas for a variety of birds.

Shrub habitat is periodically clearcut in an effort to curb the decline of woodcock numbers in the east. Clearcutting is used on the refuge to create daytime feeding, nesting and rearing covers, singing grounds, and roosting areas for the American woodcock. The woodcock, like grouse, deer and a variety of songbirds, requires forest habitat that is periodically disturbed so new vegetation can grow.

Grasslands are periodically hayed, mowed or burned to keep open field from changing back to forest. Many wildlife species benefit from these open field habitats. Waterfowl may nest in the grassy cover, while bobolinks, songbirds and small mammals that use open fields provide a food source for birds of prey such as rough-legged hawks, American kestrels and red-tailed hawks.

In addition to 5000 acres of natural marsh, the refuge includes 1200 acres of managed wetlands formed by three impoundments. Water levels in these areas are manipulated to encourage the growth of waterfowl food and cover plants such as wild rice and buttonbush, while also providing good ground-nesting habitat for mallards, black ducks and teal.

Refuge habitats support the following wildlife highlights:

* The largest heron rookery in Vermont is located on the refuge's Shad Island, which fluctuates from about 150 to almost 600 nests each year.

* More than 20,000 ducks converge on the refuge each Fall and find habitat for feeding and resting. In the Spring, a small percentage of those use the refuge habitats for nesting.

* Most of Vermont's black terns (up to 99%) nest on the refuge.

* A significant percentage of Vermont's nesting ospreys are found on the refuge.

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