This report is a joint effort of the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to provide National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) managers guidance on the selection and evaluation of habitat management strategies to meet stated objectives. The FWS recently completed a handbook on writing refuge management goals and objectives (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996a). the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 requires that National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) lands be managed according to approved Comprehensive Conservation Plans to guide management decisions and devise strategies for achieving refuge unit purposes and meeting the NWRS mission. It is expected that over the next several years most refuges will develop new or revised refuge goals and objectives for directing their habitat management strategies.
This paper outlines the steps we recommend in selecting and evaluating habitat management strategies to meet specific refuge habitat objectives. We selected two examples to illustrate the process. Although each refuge is unique and will require specific information and solutions, these two examples can be used as guidance when selecting and evaluating habitat management strategies for other refuge resources:
Example 1. Management of floodplain woods habitat for forest interior birds. The biological recourse of concern is the quality and quantity of floodplain woods habitat for eastern forest interior birds in the Cypress Creek NWR (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996b).
Example 2. Management of habitat for biodiversity: Historical landscape proportions. The biological resource of concern is the change in diversity associated with man-induced changes in the distribution and abundance of habitat types at the Minnesota Valley NWR (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996c).
Additional publication details
Federal Government Series
Selecting habitat management strategies on refuges