Cape Island Habitat Restoration Task Force: A Partnership in Invasive Plant Management

 About the Partnership

     The Cape Island Habitat Restoration Task Force is a Coordinated Weed Management Area (CWMA). CWMA’s are located throughout the U.S., with the objective of bringing together public and private partners at a local or regional scale to better address invasive species issues relevant to the area.

   The Cape Island Habitat Restoration Task Force (CIHRTF) has formed under the coordination of the New Jersey Audubon Society to manage non-native invasive species and restore habitat for wildlife. CIHRTF partners include:

  • New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
  • New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • The New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team
  • And you! Homeowners, businesses, organizations and clubs are encouraged to partner with the CIHRTF to learn more about invasive species and how to control them on your properties.


 About Cape Island   

   Cape Island is located at the southern tip of New Jersey, and is an island comprised of the City of Cape May and the Boroughs of West Cape May and Cape May Point. Cape Island is an Important Bird Area. This globally recognized designation is due to the variety of habitat types that are utilized by thousands of birds during fall and spring migration, as well as for breeding and wintering grounds. Populations of federally threatened piping plovers, NJ endangered least terns, and NJ threatened barred owls are supported by critical habitats found in Cape Island.


Why Manage Invasive Plants? 

   Non-native invasive plants such as common reed (Phragmites australis), sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora), and porcelain-berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata) are found in Cape Island. These invasive plants often outcompete native vegetation, eventually dominating entire landscapes and creating monocultures of exotic species, thereby reducing biodiversity. The transition from diverse, native habitats to exotic monocultures may negatively impact the rich diversity of avian species that rely on Cape Island for suitable habitat.

 Invasive Species Management and Cape Island

   The Cape Island Habitat Restoration Task Force will begin management projects this year, with extensive surveying for invasive species starting in spring of 2011. Volunteer opportunities exist to help manage, survey, and monitor invasive species, and private landowners are encouraged to join this partnership to learn about invasive species and how to enhance wildlife habitat on their properties.


Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 15th, 9am-12pm at Cape May Point State Park. Meet in the parking lot near the trailhead. We'll be removing invasive vines from young trees and shrubs in a forest restoration site.


Saturday, October 8th, 9am-12pm at the Meadows at Cape Island Condominiums. Meet behind buildings near the marsh. We'll be planting a variety of native plants to create habitat for wildlife.






Volunteers should bring:

·     Water

·     Work clothes

·     Work gloves

·     Hat

·     Sun block

·     Insect repellant

·     Hand pruners if you have them

·     Binoculars if you like to bird! 



For more information on how you can partner with or volunteer for the Cape Island Habitat Restoration Task Force, please contact Suzanne Treyger.