KEY NORTH AMERICAN MIGRATION SITES FOR
Red Knots & Semipalmated Sandpipers

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge 

Country: USA

Region: New Jersey,

Nearest city/town: Oceanville

Site: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge 

Species/Sub-species: REKN-rufa, SESA

Total biogeographic population: 42,000 (rufa), 2,260,000 (SESA)

Count Method: Maximum day count

Count: 600 (rufa)1, 25,000 (SESA)2

% biogeographic pop. at site: 1.43 (rufa), 1.11 (SESA)

Season (primarily): Spring and Fall (rufa), Spring (SESA)

Site recognition: WHSRN Ramsar IBA

Site recognition (other): National Wildlife Refuge, National Park Reserve, NOAA Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve,  EPA Barnegat Bay Estuary Program Area, a portion of the refuge lies within the Pinelands International Biosphere Reserve, Brigantine Wilderness Area5

Site description: Using the Ramsar Classification System for Wetland Type, the site's habitat characteristics are marine and coastal, intertidal marshes (including salt marshes, salt meadows, saltings, raised salt marshes; and tidal brackish and freshwater marshes) and intertidal forested wetlands (including mangrove swamps, nipah swamps and tidal freshwater swamp forests). The site includes coastal salt meadows, flooded woodlands and open bays and channels. Land ownership is federal and the US Fish and Wildlife Service manages it. The State of New Jersey retains rights to areas below the mean high water line and to areas below the mean low water line4. Existing knowledge about the site includes major management practices to protect and improve wetlands environment for waterfowl including shorebirds. Work currently underway at the site in 2016 included shorebird banding by the Royal Ontario Museum and the Canadian Wildlife Service6.

Known threats: Extraction of nonrenewable resources is a threat, and specifically energy production and mining (the threat from renewable energy from windfarms is low). The threat of site land use change in the form of natural system modification is high, whether from ecosystem modification (blocking natural water flows and altered salinity), dams and water management/use (dams - dam size unknown) or dykes and levees. The site is also threatened by pollution in terms of industrial and military effluents (the threat of oil spills is moderate), siltation (the threat is low), agriculture and forestry effluents (the treat from herbicides and pesticides is high), and domestic and urban waste water (the treat from unknown/unrecorded type is high). Damaging recreational use poses a moderate threat in the form of invasive and other problematic species (domestic animals such as pets) and intrusions and disturbance (work and other activities). Lastly, the physical alteration of the site due to climate change/severe weather threatens the site (the threat of storms and floods causing soil, land and coastal erosion is high, and the threat from habitat shifting and alteration is moderate).7

Notes: Limits follow WHSRN boundaries however it is recommended to extend them to the south to include Brigantine Inlet3. Ramsar Site No. 348.

Sources: 1eBird (Volquer Schmidt August 22, 2009) 2eBird (Pete Bacinski May 29, 2015) 3Niles, L.J., Burger, J., Porter, R.R., Dey, A.D., Koch, S., Harrington, B., K. Iaquinto, and M. Boarman. 2012. Migration pathways, migration speeds and non-breeding areas used by northern hemisphere wintering Red Knots Calidris canutus of the subspecies rufa. Wader Study Group Bulletin, 119(2): 195–203. 4https://rsis.ramsar.org/RISapp/files/RISrep/US348RIS.pdf 5https://rsis.ramsar.org/ris/348 6http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/apr11/mingan_archipelago2.asp 7Site Assesment Tool analysis 2009