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Assunpink WMA: American Woodcock Early Successional Habitat Project

 

The American woodcock (Scolopax minor) is a migratory bird which has been in steady decline for the past 25 years mainly due to the loss of early successional habitat. Working with the Pine Barrens Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has established three areas within Assunpink WMA where various stages of early successional habitat are created and maintained through forestry mowing to provide optimal habitat for woodcock and other early successional species.

The three woodcock management areas follow the Natural Resources Conservation Service's National Conservation Practice Standards handbook and help New Jersey be a part of the comeback for this important game species by contributing to the American Woodcock Conservation Plan (pdf, timberdoodle.org). For more information on woodcock and the various plans follow the links below:

Timberdoodle.org - The Woodcock Management Plan
The Young Forest Project

For more information about the Assunpink woodcock habitat project, contact Pete Winkler at Peter.Winkler@dep.nj.gov.

Habitat Management Projects Page

Hydro-ax machines creating open strips for woodcock habitat
Hydro-ax machines creating open strips of field for American woodcock habitat.
Click to enlarge
Woodcock
The "landing lane" in one of the American woodcock fields.
Click to enlarge

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: June 5, 2018