Response of Vertebrate Populations to the Eradication of Morrow's Honeysuckle in an Upland Meadow at Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, Pennsylvania

The National Park Service is dedicated to controlling exotic species if they interfere with natural processes or natural habitats, disrupt the accurate presentation of cultural landscapes, or hamper the land management. Morrow's honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii) had invaded a 20-acre wet meadow at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pennsylvania, providing breeding habitat for American woodcock (Scolopax minor). American woodcock populations in the northeastern United States have declined more than 45% since the late 1960s. This decline has mostly mirrored the loss of early successional habitat. In 2004 we began a project to develop a plan to remove invasive Morrow's honeysuckle from Fort Necessity National Battlefield, restore the native and historic vegetation, and at the same time maintain the woodcock and other wildlife species that occur on site. We gathered baseline information on wildlife and plant species that occur on site and evaluated control methods for Morrow's honeysuckle. We inventoried 37 bird species, 10 small mammal species, 173 plant species, 4 exotic earthworm species, 4 amphibian species, and 2 reptile species. Honeysuckle eradication began in spring 2007 with large-scale mowing to remove the bulk of the vegetation. A foliar application of 2% glyphosate will be applied during fall 2007. Native trees and shrubs will be planted during spring 2008. Throughout the eradication and revegetation processes we will continue to monitor bird, mammal, amphibian, and reptile species to assess how vertebrate population structures respond to the shift in habitat components.

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