Taken together with its neighbor to the north, the Barnegat Division of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, the Manahawkin Wildlife Management Area (WMA) represents one of the few remaining large expanses of salt marsh and transitional woodland coastal habitat in New Jersey. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and saltmeadow cordgrass (Spartina patens) dominate the salt marshes while pitch-pine (Pinus rigida) mixed with various deciduous tree species characterizes the coastal forests. The site intersects the Manahawkin Bay Natural Heritage Priority Macrosite.

Ornithological Summary

Conservation Concern ? State-endangered: Pied-billed Grebe (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-endangered: Black Skimmer (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-threatened: Black Rail (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-threatened: Osprey (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-threatened: Black Crowned Night Heron (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-special Concern: Northern Harrier (W)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Salt Marsh/Wetland: Salt Marsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Black Rail, American Black Duck, Seaside Sparrow, Clapper Rail, Marsh Wren, Virginia Rail, Willet, Osprey (B)

Significant Migrant Stopover/Flyover-Landbirds (SM, FM)

Conservation Issues

Ongoing development of the remaining scrub-shrub and forested habitat in the Manahawkin area reduces availability of critical areas for migratory raptors, songbirds and their prey. To ensure availability of critical habitats in this area, protection or acquisition of lands adjacent to Manahawkin WMA is recommended. Development and implementation of a management plan for this and other publicly owned lands is also necessary to create and maintain high quality habitats. Invasive species, particularly the common reed (Phragmites australis), also reduces habitat suitability in this area by reducing habitat diversity.


Owned by: New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Tony Petrongolo, Chief
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, NJ
08925 Phone: (609) 984-1401
E-mail: tony.petrongolo@dep.state.nj.us


Extensive tidal salt marsh bordered by upland forest and scrub-shrub habitats

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