Roanoke River

National Wildlife Refuge - North Carolina

Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge protects and enhances wooded wetlands consisting of bottomland hardwoods and swamps with high waterfowl value along the Roanoke River. The refuge includes part of an extensive wetland ecosystem that includes levee forest, cypress-gum swamp, bottomland hardwoods, oxbows, beaver ponds and blackwater streams. The refuge hosts 214 species of birds, including 88 breeding resident species and the largest inland heron rookery in the state; white-tailed deer; one of the largest natural wild turkey populations in North Carolina; and a remnant population of black bear along with numerous small game and a diversity of fish species, including the endangered shortnose sturgeon.

brochures

Brochure of Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Roanoke River - Brochure

Brochure of Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Fact Sheet of Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Roanoke River - Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet of Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Birds at Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Roanoke River - Birds

Birds at Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Kuralt Trail at Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Roanoke River - Kuralt Trail

Kuralt Trail at Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Roanoke River NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/roanoke_river https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roanoke_River_National_Wildlife_Refuge Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge protects and enhances wooded wetlands consisting of bottomland hardwoods and swamps with high waterfowl value along the Roanoke River. The refuge includes part of an extensive wetland ecosystem that includes levee forest, cypress-gum swamp, bottomland hardwoods, oxbows, beaver ponds and blackwater streams. The refuge hosts 214 species of birds, including 88 breeding resident species and the largest inland heron rookery in the state; white-tailed deer; one of the largest natural wild turkey populations in North Carolina; and a remnant population of black bear along with numerous small game and a diversity of fish species, including the endangered shortnose sturgeon.
Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge P. O. Box 430 114 W. Water Street Windsor, NC 27983 252/794 3808 http://roanokeriver.fws.gov email: RoanokeRiver@fws.gov U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1 800/344 WILD http://southeast.fws.gov For more information contact: Refuge Manager Monday-Friday Closed holidays 8:00 am-4:00 pm September 2006 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge The Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge situated along the Roanoke River in northeastern North Carolina is part of a 100,000 acre protected area involving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and The Nature Conservancy. It is one of over 545 refuges that make up the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge System,an extensive network of lands and waters protected and managed especially for wildlife and its habitat. Jean Richter This blue goose, designed by J. N. “Ding” Darling, has become a symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Introduction Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge, which consists of 20,978 acres, was established in August 1989 to protect and enhance forested wetlands with high waterfowl value. The extensive floodplain in the lower reaches of the Roanoke River is considered to be the largest intact, and least disturbed, bottomland forest ecosystem remaining in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Swamp cover photo: Laurie Johnson Swainson’s Warbler River System Hydrology Water is the driving force of bottomland hardwood communities. Annual floods over the centuries have overtopped the riverbanks, dropping the coarser, heavier suspended sediments from upriver to form the levees and ridges of the floodplain resulting in forested communities characterized by sugar berry, sycamore, green ash, beech, cottonwood, elm, sweetgum, loblolly pine, and mesic oak and hickory species. The finer, lighter sediments (silts and clays) gradually settle in the slack water areas ponded behind the levees supporting stands of bald cypress and water tupelo. USFWS Jerry Holloman Slider Patterns of water flow within alluvial systems such as the Roanoke River are distinctly seasonal when unregulated. However, near the Virginia-North Carolina border, a series of three reservoirs established for hydroelectric power and flood control now regulate the flow of water, deviating from historical flow patterns. These are the John H. Kerr Reservoir, Lake Gaston and Roanoke Rapids Lake from upstream to downstream, respectively. Green-backed heron USFWS Mammals White-tailed deer Wildlife The combination of hard and soft mast producing trees and the availability of cover provides habitat for white-tailed deer, gray squirrel and marsh rabbit on the floodplain of the Refuge. Likewise, a remnant population of black bear is found along the lower River in one of the few remaining expanses of habitat for this species in the state. Furbearers present include raccoon, mink, nutria, muskrat, otter, fox, bobcat, beaver and opossum. Birds At least 219 birds including 88 breeding species have been identified on or near the Refuge. The Roanoke River floodplain is believed to support the highest density of nesting birds, especially songbirds, anywhere in North Carolina. Jean Richter Exceptional birding is possible on the Refuge from March through June, the spring migration and nesting season. Some of the more notable species include cerulean and Swainson’s warblers, Mississippi kite and our national symbol, the bald eagle can be frequently observed along the River’s corridor. Yellow-crowned night heron The Refuge supports at least three active heron rookeries, including the largest inland rookery in the state. The redshouldered hawk and barred owl are characteristic raptor species found in the wooded swamps and bottomland hardwoods. Jean Richter The ancient river ridges and terraces provide excellent food and cover for feeding and nesting turkeys. Other game species that can be found sporadically in the Refuge are woodcock and bobwhite quail. Nesting wood ducks and hooded mergansers can be found regularly in and around the Refuge. During the winter, frequently observed waterfowl species include pintail, wigeon, gadwall, greenwinged teal, mallard, black duck, bluewinged teal, ringnecked duck, shoveler, bufflehead, and Canada goose. Turkeys Roanoke R National Wildlife R Ind Indian Creek TOWN SWAMP Roanoke River ian Broadneck Road W oo Coniott Creek ds Ro ad n tow ad Gr ab Ro 11 903 Hamilton BROADNECK SWAMP Saint Francis Road COMPANY SWAMP 13 17 Conoho Creek Conine Creek 125 * CONINE ISLAND Kuratt Trail Sweetwater Creek Williamston Detailed area 17 64 NORTH CAROLINA Refuge Regulations Primitive camping is allowed only in conjunction with Refuge hunts by permitted hunters. No littering—help keep your Refuge clean! Disturbing people, wildlife, plants and government property with vehicles, weapons, light and sound equipment or personal conduct is prohibited. Fire
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge photo: USFWS photo: USFWS Refuge Facts ■ Established: 1989. ■ Acres: 20,978. ■ Other management: Two satellite tracts totaling 174 acres and 98 conservation easements totaling 2,870 acres in 19 counties. ■ Natural History ■ Refuge lands are located in the Atlantic Coastal Plain and are part of an extensive bottomland hardwood forest supported by wehadkee and chewacla soils. Refuge habitat consists of bottomland hardwood forests, cypress/tupelo swamps, black and brown water streams, and hardwood and loblolly pine plantations in the upland areas. photo: USFWS ■ photo: USFWS ■ Michelle Chappell, Refuge Manager Roanoke River NWR P.O. Box 430 (mailing) 114 West Water Street Windsor, NC 27983 Phone: 252/794 3808 Fax: 252/794 3780 E-mail: roanokeriver@fws.gov Website: http://roanokeriver.fws.gov Location: The refuge consists of several tracts of land scattered along 70 miles of the River from Hamilton, NC to the mouth of the River at the Albemarle Sound. Refuge headquarters are in Windsor, NC. ■ To protect and manage for endangered and threatened wildlife. ■ Provide recreation and environmental education for the public. Management tools ■ Water management for wintering and nesting waterfowl, wading bird rookeries and anadromous fish nurseries. Wetland restoration. ■ Bottomland hardwood management. ■ Mechanical or chemical treatment of non-native plants. ■ Deer and turkey management with public hunting. ■ Environmental education and interpretation. Concentrations of wintering waterfowl, nesting ducks, raptors and neo-tropical migrants are common. At least three heron rookeries are located on the refuge, including what is believed to be the largest inland heron rookery in North Carolina. ■ Law enforcement. ■ North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. Though its current status is not know, the endangered shortnose sturgeon may be present near the mouth of the River. ■ Partnership for the Sounds. ■ The Nature Conservancy. ■ Dominion Generation. ■ National Marine Fisheries Service. ■ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. ■ Ducks Unlimited. ■ U.S. Geological Survey. ■ Bertie County. ■ Town of Windsor. ■ The Conservation Fund. ■ NC Museum of Natural History. 5,000 visitors annually. Refuge Objectives ■ Provide habitat for migratory waterfowl, neo-tropical migrants and other birds. ■ Enhance and protect forested wetlands consisting of bottomland hardwoods and swamps. ■ Financial Impact of Refuge ■ Five-person staff. ■ ■ Provide migrating, spawning and nursery habitat for anadromous fish; i.e. blueback herring, alewife, hickory shad and striped bass. Partnerships ■ North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ■ NC State University. ■ Clemson University. ■ University of Wisconsin - Madison. ■ Roanoke River Partners. Visitor Opportunities ■ Hunting. ■ Wildlife observation. ■ Wildlife photography. ■ Environmental education. ■ Wildlife interpretation. ■ Trails. Calendar of Events April: youth turkey hunt. April-May: turkey hunts. May: International Migratory Bird Day. September-October: archery/ muzzleloader deer hunts. October: National Wildlife Refuge Week. October-November: deer hunts. October-December: small game hunts. November-December: waterfowl hunts. Questions and Answers: When is something going to be done with the flows on the river? Flows on the lower Roanoke River, defined as the area from below Roanoke Rapids to the River’s mouth, are managed by three dams, the US Army Corps of Engineer’s (USACOE) John H. Kerr flood control project and two private hydropower projects owned by Dominion Generation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working with over forty stakeholders to address the flow issues on the River and any impacts they may have on fish and wildlife resources. There are two formal processes underway to address the flow issues. The first was the issuance of a new license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to Dominion Generation (DG). DG was issued a new license in March 2005, after fourteen years of meetings with stakeholders. The various stakeholders belong to the Cooperative Management Team (CMT). Members of the CMT consist of representatives from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, non-profit groups, and local governments. Under the new forty-year license, the FERC has directed DG to conduct studies and monitor the possible impacts of their hydropower operations may have on fish and wildlife resources. DG agreed to conduct the studies with input from the CMT on decisions and providing additional financial support to cover the studies. Depending on study results, flows may be adjusted to minimize impacts using an adaptive management approach. The second process is
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge Bird List Larry Wade, USFWS prothonotary warbler USFWS barred owl common yellowthroat Larry Wade, USFWS Larry Wade, USFWS Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge Larry Wade, USFWS belted kingfisher Larry Wade, USFWS ruby-throated hummingbird yellow-crowned night heron Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1989, consists of 21,000 acres of forested wetlands. A primary refuge objective is to provide sanctuary for migratory birds. Exceptional birding is possible in the Roanoke River wetlands from March through June, the spring migration and nesting season, but is best from mid-April - mid-May. Fifty-one species of neotropical migrants, songbirds that nest in temperate North America and fly south to winter in the West Indies and Central and South America, have been observed. Over 200 species of birds have been identified on or near the refuge. Other species, especially spring and fall migratory transients, will certainly be added to the list. Your help is needed to develop a more complete list. Please notify refuge staff when you observe additional species or obvious differences in indicated seasonal occurrences. Most birds are migratory, therefore, their seasonal occurrence is coded as follows: Seasonal Appearance Sp - Spring March - May S - Summer June - August F - Fall September - November W - Winter December - February *Birds known or suspected to nest on or near the refuge. Italics indicate threatened/endangered species. Relative Abundance: a - abundant, a species which is very numerous USFWS c - common, likely to be seen or heard in suitable habitat Swainson’s warbler u - uncommon, present, but not certain to be seen o - occasional seen only a few times during aseason r - rare, may be present but not every year SP Loons - Grebes ___Pied-billed Grebe.......................... ....... u ___Common Loon .............................. ....... r Pelicans - Cormorants - Allies ___Brown Pelican................................. ...... ___Double-crested Cormorant*............. .. c ___Anhinga*......................................... ...... u Bitterns - Herons ___Least Bittern*................................... ... o ___Great Blue Heron*........................... ... c ___Great Egret*..................................... ... c ___Snowy Egret..................................... .... o ___Little Blue Heron................................. o ___Cattle Egret...................................... ... o ___Green Heron*.................................. ..... u ___Black-crowned Night Heron........... ... r ___Yellow-crowned Night Heron*....... .... u Ibises - Storks ___White Ibis........................................ ..... ___Wood Stork..................................... ...... r Swans - Geese - Ducks ___Tundra Swan.................................... ..... ___Snow Goose..................................... ...... ___Canada Goose*................................ ..... c ___Wood Duck*................................... ....... c ___American Black Duck..................... ..... u ___Mallard*............................................ .... u ___Northern Pintail................................... ___Blue-winged Teal.................................. o ___Green-winged Teal........................ ....... ___Northern Shoveler........................... .... S u u o c c o o o u F W o r u r r u u c u u r u r u u o o c c o u r o c u c u o c o u r u c c c u r c o SP ___Gadwall............................................ ...... ___American Wigeon............................ ..... ___Greater Scaup....................................... ___Lesser Scaup.................................... .... ___Ring-necked Duck........................... .... ___Bufflehead........................................ ..... ___Hooded Merganser*........................ .... c ___Red-breasted Merganser................. ... ___Ruddy Duck..................................... ..... Vultures - Hawks - Allies ___Black Vulture*................................ ...... u ___Turkey Vulture*.............................. ..... c ___Osprey*........................................... ...... c ___Bald Eagle*..................................... ..... u ___Northern Harrier............................. .... u ___Sharp-shinned Hawk...................... ..... u ___Cooper’s Hawk*.............................. ..... u ___Red-shouldered Hawk*................... .... c ___Broad-winged Hawk....................... ..... r ___Red-tailed Hawk*............................ .... c ___Mississippi Kite*............................. ..... u ___Swallow-tailed Kite......................... ..... r ___Merlin.............................................. ...... r ___American Kestrel............................. .... u ___Peregrine Falcon.................................. Quail - Turkey ___Northern Bobwhite*.......................... . u ___Wild Turkey*...........
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The Kuralt Trail Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge USFWS Introduction Welcome to the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge and the Kuralt Trail! This leaflet is designed as a self-guided tour, providing numbered paragraphs that correspond to the numbered posts on the trail. As you walk the trail, you will also see interpretive plaques identifying a few common species of trees found on the floodplain. Eastern mud turtle This trail is approximately 1.5 miles roundtrip. If you have no further need of this leaflet after your walk, please return it to the leaflet dispenser for others to use and enjoy. Thank you! History Until the mid-1600’s, the Tuscarora Indians lived along the Roanoke River for over 12,000 years. They used the resources along the river with great care and respect so that the forest and river would always be able to supply them with the resources they would need to survive. European settlement in this area began as early as 1657, with commercial fishing, forestry and agriculture as the primary industries. As human populations increased over the centuries, so did the demand for the river’s resources. Unknown Historic logging on Roanoke River The expansive timber resources found in the bottomlands along the Roanoke River became a target. The forest industry began playing an increasing role in the Roanoke River floodplain, as old-growth bald cypress and other hardwoods were harvested for their highly valued wood. USFWS In 1990, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined The Nature Conservancy and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and began acquiring land in an effort to protect the fish and wildlife resources for present and future generations. Today, the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge manages over 20,000 of the more than 70,000 acres protected along the Roanoke River. Crayfish What is a bottomland hardwood forest? Bottomland hardwood forests are the wettest types of hardwood forests found in North America. They are usually, but not always, associated with a river. Over hundreds of years, flood waters along the Roanoke River have deposited sediments and carved out creeks creating features such as ridges, sloughs and levees on its floodplain. These features differ in elevation, which determine how wet they get when the river floods and where certain tree species will grow. The result is a bottomland hardwood forest that supports different forest communities with a high diversity of plant and wildlife species. A floodplain is simply the area adjacent to a river that is subject to recurring floods as the river spreads its bank during times of high water flow. Flood waters carry nutrients and deposit them on the floodplain, fertilizing the trees. This natural fertilization promotes rapid growth of trees and provides fertile soil for agriculture. This is one reason bottomland hardwood forests are cleared and converted to farmlands and used for timber production. Such activities are why bottomland hardwood forests are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the United States. The bottomland hardwood forest you are standing in is dominated by laurel oak, red maple, sweetgum and sycamore trees. The Roanoke River is approximately 1.5 miles south of the Kuralt Trail and the floodplain here is approximately 3.5 miles wide. Some Important Rules ■ The refuge and the Kuralt Trail are open daylight hours only year-round, but are subject to closure for managed hunts during certain times of the year. Please contact refuge headquarters for hunt dates and closure information. USFWS ■ Off-road motorized vehicles are not allowed on the Kuralt Trail. Great egret ■ Pets must be kept on a leash and under owner control at all times. ■ Collecting, disturbing or feeding plants or wildlife is against the law. Please view them from a safe distance. ■ Don’t litter. No one wants to look at litter, but more importantly it harms wildlife who attempt to digest non-edible items such as wrappings and containers. USFWS Wildlife Viewing Tips ■ Start early and stay late. You are more likely to see wildlife activity if you come early in the morning or late in the day. ■ Spring peeper Bring your binoculars and field guides. Binoculars provide an upclose view without disturbing wildlife. Wildlife identification guides will help you learn the various flora and fauna of the refuge. Bring insect repellent. Biting insects can be a disturbance to your enjoyable walk. ■ The Kuralt Trail occasionally floods. Bring appropriate footwear and clothing for muddy conditions. Be advised: the trail may be impassable at times. USFWS ■ Many bird species can be observed along the trail. ■ Please stay on the established trail to minimize environmental damage and prevent accidents. ■ Check yourself carefully for ticks during and after completing the trail. Ticks can transmit serious diseases and can be active yearround. ■ Enjoy your visit! USFWS USFWS Stop 1:

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