Large Wildlife Map

4.5 Wildlife Habitat

Eighteen (18) Wildlife Habitat Units have been identified in the Enosburgh study area. These units comprise approximately 38 square miles of the town. The results of the wildlife assessments are summarized in Table 4 in the Attachment. Significant wildlife units are discussed below.

Wildlife Unit #1

Wildlife Unit # 1 is an especially valuable wildlife habitat in Enosburgh. The presence of wild ponds, remote hard mast (American beech) food resources, several deeryards, potential ledge structure for animals such as bobcat and porcupine, numerous streams and wetlands, historic great blue heron rookeries, and large areas of relatively undisturbed "core" forest make this unit very important wildlife habitat.

Wildlife Unit # 1 may serve as a wildlife "source" area for Units # 2, 5, 7, 13, and 18. Species such as black bear, fisher, bobcat and moose may migrate from "reproductively important" areas such as Unit # 1 to take up home ranges in these smaller units. Recent field investigations by other researchers have revealed the presence of black bear and fisher in the northern half of this Unit. This Unit also likely serves as a "productive" breeding ground for songbirds such as ovenbirds, red-eyed vireos, wood thrush, rose-breasted grosbeak, pileated woodpeckers and other area-sensitive or forest interior birds.

Wildlife Unit #s 3, 4 and 7

Wildlife Unit #s 3, 4, and 7 are large enough (~2000 acres or larger) that wild species are likely to breed in these areas. Predators, moose, deer, and songbirds likely find enough remote lands to have breeding populations here. These areas likely serve as wildlife "source" areas for some species as well. Wildlife Unit # 4 could play an important role similar to Wildlife Unit # 1 but on the western side of Enosburgh.

Wildlife Units #s 4 and 5 extend for considerable distances without fragmentation into neighboring towns. These areas are even more important for EnosburghÕs overall wildlife resources than there size within Enosburgh alone would suggest.

Wildlife Unit #s 7 and 12 on the Missisquoi River and Unit #s 3, 4, and 5 on smaller, but substantial streams are important for fish and their habitat, as well as for floodplains and likely aquatic species such as mink, otter, and muskrat. Osprey and other birds such as the kingfisher also utilize streamside habitats within these Units.

Many of the smaller wildlife habitat units as well as the more Urban and Agricultural areas may serve as wildlife viewing areas where white-tailed deer and red fox are often observed. The single large dead tree in the midst of a hay field may be where most people see the soaring red-tailed hawk or other raptors. The wooded-side of a cornfield in spring can be habitat for a dozen deer or more, while the neighboring early succession aspens or red maples are home to the woodcock.

Overall Wildlife Management Recommendations: In general, the wildlife habitat within the town of Enosburgh exhibits low to moderate fragmentation. Most of the fragmentation present in town is still only nipping at the edges of expansive areas of unbroken forest habitat

To ensure that development activities along the many dirt roads in Enosburgh have as little impact upon wildlife and wildlife movements, as much forest cover in proximity to these dirt roads should be maintained. In addition, some species seem to prefer or require long undeveloped roadside reaches.

Within the town of Enosburgh, key habitats need to be protected in order to maintain the diversity and abundance of wildlife currently present. These key habitats include: beech stands; remote forested and shrubby wetlands; travel corridors for black bear; early successional forests for prey and their predators (like bobcat and fisher); vernal pools and seeps for amphibians; mast stands for deer, bear, and turkey; and ledges, talus areas and large snags for denning bobcats and other wildlife. Important crossing places for amphibians, bear and other wildlife should be identified and, when possible, protected. Many of these crossing places are likely to be ridges and valleys. To maintain the fish habitat in town, riparian areas should be given appropriate buffers. In streamside areas that are already damaged, restoration activities should be undertaken.