S2: Oral Presentation C Friday, 9:00 9:30 am C Lake Superior Ballroom MN

Data Defining Species Management Opportunities for the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

Jennifer Sieracki, Thomas E. Burk
University of Minnesota
Department of Forest Resources
115 Green Hall
1530 Cleveland Avenue North
St. Paul, MN  55108

In 1997 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) began developing a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP)for each National Wildlife Refuge in the Nation. A CCP is based on resource data and input from stakeholders. It guides management decision-making and sets forth goals, objectives, and management strategies for a refuge. The USFWS Region 3 Division of Refuges is working cooperatively with the Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota to develop data that will serve as a basis for a CCP for Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge near Seymour, Indiana. In order to meet CCP requirements, we compiled a list of species of concern along with a description of the species' habitat preferences. We also developed a vegetation map by interpreting current color-infrared aerial photographs using classes of the National Vegetation Classification System. Results were a matrix containing the ranked habitat preferences of wildlife species and a map of habitat types on the refuge. These data are subsequently used to produce a GIS database of possible species use at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge.