Salem Bog Turtle Habitat Enhancement Site
Project Purpose: The bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) is a federally threatened, state endangered species. The proposed project will improve freshwater wetlands and their associated upland ecosystems in order to enhance habitat for a recently (2013) confirmed bog turtle population at a site in Salem County, NJ. The project will also enhance habitat for other native wildlife species, including migrating American woodcock.
Brief Description: The bog turtle habitat enhancement area includes 13 acres of a tract owned by the State of New Jersey. Surveys conducted by NJ Audubon in 2013 and 2014 have confirmed the presence of a bog turtle population last observed in 2001. The project site consists of two wetland habitats that are separated by a field of row crops. The northern wetland is categorized as a deciduous scrub-shrub and forested wetland with open areas colonized by dense stands of Phragmites australis and Rosa multiflora. The southern wetland habitat is categorized by a mosaic of former agricultural wetlands and mixed scrub-shrub wetlands.
The project will be implemented in phases, with Phase 1 scheduled for spring 2014 to fall 2015. Funding under this request is limited to Phase 1 of the project. Phase 1 includes: (a) Continued bog turtle surveys in spring 2014 and spring 2015; (b) Removal of invasive and non-native plant species from the wetlands; (c) Expansion of emergent wetlands habitat in appropriate areas by select removal of encroaching woody vegetation; (d) Radio telemetry study to be conducted during the second and third years (2015 and 2016) to determine bog turtle distribution and core habitat locations; (e) Follow-up treatment of invasive species removal from wetland areas.
Resource Values/Project Outputs: Maintain or increase bog turtle population; assess bog turtle habitat use to evaluate potential future management steps; remove invasive species and increase solar exposure in wetland areas to benefit bog turtle population.
Schedule: Phase 1 was initiated in April 2014 and will be completed in October 2015.
Permit Status: Permit for surveys is in hand. Permits for vegetation management will be secured prior to implementation.
List of Partners: USFWS Delaware Bay Program--$10,000 committed, Atlantic City Electric--$5,000 committed
What is requested from the CWRP/Contribution: $10,000
Point of Contact:
Jean Lynch, Stewardship Project Director, NJ Audubon
(609) 861-1608 ext 24