Delaware Wildlife Action Plan - NRC: Home Page Delaware Wildlife Action Plan 2007 - 2017 Submitted to:

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  • Keeping Today’s Wildlife from Becoming Tomorrow’s Memory

    DelawareDelaware WildlifeWildlife

    Action PlanAction Plan

  • Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

    Division of Fish and Wildlife 89 King Highway

    Dover, Delaware 19901

    www.dnrec@delaware.gov

  • Delaware Wildlife Action Plan 2007 - 2017

    Submitted to:

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 300 Westgate Center Drive

    Hadley, MA 01035-9589

    September, 2006

    Submitted by:

    Olin Allen, Biologist Brianna Barkus, Outreach Coordinator

    Karen Bennett, Program Manager

    Cover Photos by: Chris Bennett, Chuck Fullmer, Mike Trumabauer, DE Div. of Fish & Wildlife

    Delaware Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

    Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control 89 Kings Highway Dover DE 19901

  • Delaware Wildlife Action Plan

    9/27/2006 Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife i

    Acknowledgements This project was funded, in part, through grants from the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife with funding from the Division of Federal Assistance, United States Fish & Wildlife Service under the State Wildlife Grants Program; and the Delaware Coastal Programs with funding from the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under award number NA17OZ2329.

    We gratefully acknowledge the participation of the following individuals:

    Jen Adkins Chris Bennett Melinda Carl John Clark Rick Cole Robert Coxe Janet Dennis Ellen Dickey Nick DiPasquale Sara Donovall Marcia Fox Rob Gano Kitt Heckscher Terry Higgins Rob Hossler Jake Jacobini Annie Jacobs Kathleen Jamison Bill Jones Kevin Kalasz

    Sally Kepfer Gary Kreamer Annie Larson Wayne Lehman Jeff Lerner Rob Line Andy Manus Pete Martin Cathy Martin Bill McAvoy Rick McCorkle Stew Michels Roy Miller Greg Moore Greg Murphy Holly Niederriter Basaran Ozden Marnie Pepper Susan Peterson Mike Polo

    NV Raman Ken Reynolds Ellen Roca Bob Rufe Tom Saladyga Craig Shirey Maria Taylor Jeff Tinsman Shelley Tovell-DiBona Maria Trabka Mike Valenti Terry Villanueva Kevina Vulinec Spencer Waller Dawn Webb Jim White Bill Whitman Tom Whittendale Steve Williams Jean Woods

    We wish to extend a special note of appreciation to Bill McAvoy for his patience and persistence with the habitat mapping component of the Plan. Bill generously shared his knowledge, expertise and familiarity with Delaware’s landscape, and we are grateful for the energy he contributed to creating many of the habitat layers found in this Plan.

  • Delaware Wildlife Action Plan

    ii Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife 9/27/2006

    Executive Summary Despite its small size Delaware harbors a diversity of wildlife and habitats within its borders from the Atlantic Ocean coastline to the Piedmont border with Pennsylvania. More than 1,000 species of wildlife have been documented in the state, and more than 125 different types of habitat have been identified including coastal marine waters and brackish marshes, tidal and non-tidal freshwater streams and wetlands, and upland forests and meadows.

    This document, the Delaware Wildlife Action Plan (“Plan”), represents the state’s first attempt to develop a comprehensive strategy for conserving the full array of native wildlife and habitats – common and uncommon – as vital components of the state’s natural resources. It is intended not only to be comprehensive in terms of the species, habitats, issues and actions it addresses, but also comprehensive in terms of those responsible for implementation. Though the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife (“DFW”) will play a lead role in its continued development and in coordinating implementation, the Plan is intended for all who are actively engaged in conservation efforts. Together with conservation partners, we aim to keep species common, and to prevent species from being listed as endangered.

    The Plan was developed with the participation of key conservation partners and public input was solicited primarily through a website. The Plan identifies more than 450 Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and 50 different types of habitat. Because this is a comprehensive plan for all wildlife, large blocks of forest and wetland habitats that support many common species are also identified. Maps depicting habitat for a full array of wildlife (“Key Habitats”) are presented to show areas of the state where conservation efforts can be focused. These maps are also intended to help guide more site-specific conservation planning efforts. A successful site-specific community-based planning effort was conducted in partnership with The Nature Conservancy as a subset of the state’s wildlife strategy development.

    Recognizing all possible issues that affect species and habitats of conservation concern, whether we fully understand their impacts, is an important step in building a comprehensive plan. Nearly 90 different conservation issues affecting species or habitats of conservation concern were identified, representing 16 different categories of issues. To address this extensive list of issues and impacts on SGCN and Key Habitats, more than 230 different conservation actions were developed. This extensive list of issues and actions were prioritized by reviewing several natural resource plans developed for Delaware over the years. As a result, a clear picture of priorities emerged; among themes represented were habitat loss and degradation, as well as institutional capacity of DFW as the lead agency for the Plan.

    Implementation of the Plan will be guided by a steering committee that meets regularly and is comprised of key partners including representatives from other state agencies, conservation organizations, and stakeholder and user groups. The Plan will be updated continuously by DFW as soon as new information becomes available about species, habitats, issues or actions, and the first formal review will take place two years after approval, with subsequent reviews every five years. A database is under development to track updates of Plan components in order to facilitate the review process, and an interactive version of the Plan will be posted on the DNREC website and made widely available on CD following the Plan’s acceptance.

  • Delaware Wildlife Action Plan

    9/27/2006 Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife iii

    Table of Contents Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................................... i Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ ii Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................... iii List of Figures ................................................................................................................................. v 1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1-1 1.1. Purpose, Goal and Guiding Principles .......................................................................... 1-1 1.1.1. Purpose ................................................................................................................... 1-1 1.1.2. Goal and Guiding Principles for Conservation Actions ........................................ 1-1 1.2. Road Map to the Eight Elements ................................................................................... 1-4 1.3. Public Involvement, Partnerships and Coordination ..................................................... 1-5 2. Planning Context .................................................................................................................. 2-1 3. Species of Greatest Conservation Need ............................................................................... 3-1 3.1. Selection Criteria ........................................................................................................... 3-1 3.2. Abundance and Distribution .......................................................................................... 3-3 4. Key Wildlife Habitats .......................................................................................................... 4-1 4.1. Ecological Framework .................................................................................................. 4-1 4.2. Location and Relative Condition................................................................................... 4-1 4.2.1. Habitat Mapping .................................................................................................... 4-1 4.2.2. Relative Condition ................................................................................................. 4-2 5. Determining Conservation Issues and Actions .................................................................... 5-1 5.1. Issues ............................................................................................................................. 5-2 5.1.1. Issues Impacting Key Habitats and SGCN ............................................................ 5-3 5.1.2. Issues Affecting Institutional Capacity ................................................................ 5-13 5.2. Actions ...........................................................