Atlantic Coast Demonstration Areas

Cottontail and Woodcock Habitat in Connecticut's Hills

In 2014 the Old Newgate Coon Club, near Norfolk in northwestern Connecticut, launched a project to help New England cottontails by clearing 21 forested acres so that dense small trees – a habitat type also known as young forest – would grow back and create the thick cover that New England’s native rabbit needs. The project also involved building three brush piles per acre, hiding sites that cottontails quickly dart into when threatened by foxes or coyotes.

Frohloff Farm, Hampshire County, Massachusetts

Fire Sparks New Life on an Old Farm

When the East Quabbin Land Trust bought the 90-acre Frohloff Farm, near Ware, the farm hadn't been managed as farmland in many years. Invasive species like glossy buckthorn, multiflora rose, bittersweet and honeysuckle were taking over.

Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuary, Western Connecticut

Bringing Back Birdsong and Cottontails

In 1995, an heir of Margery Boyd gave the Litchfield Hills Audubon Society (LHAS) a beautiful 102-acre tract a mile and a half south of the town of Litchfield in western Connecticut. The property, Twin Brook Farm, was graced with meadows, thickets, vernal ponds, rock outcroppings, and woods – plenty of woods. LHAS designated the property the Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuary. One of three LHAS sanctuaries, it is now a popular destination for hikers and wildlife-watchers.

Mattaponi Wildlife Management Area, Virginia

Where Woodcock and Quail Intersect

“Mattaponi Wildlife Management Area has some of the best woodcock habitat in Virginia,” says WMI biologist Steve Capel, “certainly the best woodcock habitat on a Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries WMA.”

The WMA, in central Virginia’s upper coastal plain, includes extensive floodplains along 6.5 miles of the Mattaponi and South Rivers – damp soils that offer prime earthworm-feeding for woodcock.

In the Works...

Hyannis Ponds Wildlife Management Area, Barnstable County, Massachusetts

Millington Wildlife Management Area, Kent County, Maryland

About Millington WMA

This 4,000-acre WMA lies near the Chester amd Sassafras rivers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It includes wildlife food plots, agricultural fields that are leased to farmers, fallow fields growing up in shrubs and small trees, and mature forest (around 3,000 acres currently are forested).

Southern New Jersey Woodcock Habitat Network, Salem, Cumberland, and Cape May Counties, New Jersey

About Southern New Jersey

In this region, urban and suburban development mix with intensive agriculture and a variety of natural ecosystems: bayshore, saltmarsh, damp and dry forests, old fields, and grasslands.

Southern New Jersey is extremely important to birds – including songbirds, raptors, shorebirds, and waterfowl – that migrate along the Atlantic Flyway in spring and fall. In autumn, the coast’s configuration funnels these avian migrants down the Cape May Peninsula to the narrowest crossing of Delaware Bay, where they must traverse about 12 miles of open water.

Roraback Wildlife Management Area, Litchfield County, Connecticut

About Roraback WMA

With 1,975 acres in western Connecticut, Roraback WMA is the state’s largest wildlife management area. Its varied habitats include streams, wetlands, mixed hardwood forest (aspen, hickories, oaks, maples, black cherry, white pine), farmed land, and brushy fields. Ruffed grouse, woodcock, songbirds, cottontail rabbits, deer, fisher, and porcupine are some of the many species of wildlife living on Roraback WMA.

Frances A. Crane Wildlife Management Area, Barnstable County, Massachusetts

About Frances A. Crane WMA

This WMA protects more than 1,900 acres near the town of Falmouth on lower Cape Cod. It is divided into a “Pheasant Area” of more than 1,500 acres (pheasants are stocked there during hunting season) and a “Quail Area” with nearly 400 acres (bobwhite quail are stocked there during hunting season). The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) manages the tract.

Martin H. Burns Wildlife Management Area, Essex County, Massachusetts

About Martin H. Burns WMA

This 1,555-acre management area is in the town of Newbury in northeastern Massachusetts. The hilly, rocky terrain is scattered with poorly drained low areas that are seasonally wet. The WMA includes old pasture and wooded tracts that were clearcut many years ago and then swept by wildfires. Trees and shrubs include oak, hickory, black cherry, white pine, pitch pine, red maple, Eastern redcedar, aspen, birch, dogwoods, highbush blueberry, and viburnums.

Noquochoke Wildlife Management Area, Bristol County, Massachusetts

About Noquochoke WMA

Noquochoke WMA covers 255 acres. It lies between New Bedford and Fall River in the town of Dartmouth in southern Massachusetts. Shingle Island River forms the WMA’s western boundary. The largely flat terrain features abandoned farm fields and an old gravel extraction area, along with wetlands, grass fields, and woods. The WMA is essentially surrounded by slow-flowing streams and associated wetlands.

Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Washington County, Rhode Island

About Great Swamp WMA

This 3,475-acre property near West Kingston in southern Rhode Island includes 2,600 acres of forested wetlands in the floodplains of the Chickasheen, Usquepaug, and Pawcatuck rivers.

Red maple, Atlantic white cedar, red oak, white oak, white pine, and American holly are important tree species. The Great Neck, a higher-elevation drumlin near the center of the WMA, was farmed and pastured before being abandoned in the early to mid-1900s.

University of New Hampshire Woodlands and Natural Areas, Strafford County, New Hampshire

About UNH Woodlands

The University of New Hampshire is in Durham, in southeastern New Hampshire. A mile south of the campus, in an area laced with suburban development, lies a complex of almost 700 acres of woodlands and natural areas that the university manages as working forest for timber production and wildlife habitat and to advance the institution’s educational and research missions. Nearby, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission manages another 132 acres for wildlife, and an additional 115 acres of private land are under a conservation easement.