About the Task Force
The Cape Island Habitat Restoration Task Force is a coordinated weed management area (CWMA). CWMA's are located throughout the U.S. and have 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.
New Jersey Audubon Society initiated the Cape Island Habitat Restoration Task Force (CIHRTF) to control invasive plants and improve wildlife habitat by surveying, managing, and monitoring critical habitats throughout Cape Island.
CIHRTF partners include:
About Cape Island
Cape Island includes all properties located south of the canal, including the City of Cape May, Cape May Point, West Cape May, and parts of the Lower Township.
Cape Island: Providing Critical Habitat for Wildlife
Cape Island is an Important Bird Area (IBA) in New Jersey. Well known as an important stopover site for birds during spring and fall migration, Cape Island also has a variety of habitat types that are used by state threatened and endangered species.
Why Manage Invasive Plants?
Non-native invasive plants often outcompete native vegetation, eventually dominating entire landscapes and creating monocultures of exotic species. Native plants are very beneficial and provide a diverse mix of suitable habitats for Cape Island’s wildlife.
CIHRTF Invasive Plant Control Projects
CIHRTF works throughout Cape Island on both public and private land. As CIHRTF identifies and pursues new invasive plant control projects on Cape Island, it is our goal to improve and enhance suitable wildlife habitat. Best management practices are implemented for each project, with careful monitoring of plant communities and plant diversity conducted pre and post control treatments. Restoring native plants, wildlife habitat, and enhancing biodiversity on Cape Island is the driver behind our invasive control projects.
Since CIHRTF began in October 2010, we have developed strong working relationships with our partners and continue to build new partnerships. In early 2011, CIHRTF began a 5.5 acre reforestation restoration project at Cape May Point State Park, where the coastal maritime forest has been overtaken by a number of invasive vines. The site has been carefully cleared of vines while leaving the mature trees to provide a seed source for understory regeneration once invasive plant control treatments have been applied for 2 to 3 years. CIHRTF has also identified kudzu--an emerging threat in New Jersey--on several privately owned properties on Cape Island, and is currently working with the homeowners to eradicate this invasive vine. Volunteers work events have helped to reduce the porcelainberry and Japanese honeysuckle growing on native trees, shrubs and grasses at the Rea Farm. These projects are made possible through support from the William Penn Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Atlantic City Electric.
How you can help!
- Volunteer for CIHRTF! You can help manage, survey, and monitor invasive species
- If you are a homeowner,
- learn how to identify invasive plants that may be on your property
- find out how to control or remove invasive plants in your yard
- landscape with native plants
- Learn more by attending an upcoming workshop or volunteer events
Target Non-native Invasive Plants
Many non-native invasive plants are found throughout Cape Island, including Phragmites, purple loosestrife, multiflora rose, and autumn olive. Below is a list of just a few of the invasive plants the CIHRTF is targeting for control.
Species in red are considered emerging invasive plants on Cape Island. CIHRTF is employing an Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) strategy to reduce the establishment and spread of kudzu and mile-a-minute.
|Porcelain berry||Field bindweed|
|Chinese privet||Japanese wisteria|
|Garlic mustard||Japanese stiltgrass|
|English ivy||Autumn olive|
|Butterfly bush||Russian olive|
|Japanese honeysuckle||Multi-flora rose|
|Oriental bittersweet||Tree of heaven|
|Privet spp.||Purple loosestrife|
|Clematis or sweet autumn virginsbower|
For more information about CIHRTF, please contact Suzanne Treyger.
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