Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge

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Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
SC Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge (7256122648).jpg
Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, May 2012
Map showing the location of Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge
Map of the United States
Location Chesterfield County, South Carolina, United States
Nearest city McBee, South Carolina
Coordinates 34°35′01″N 80°13′59″W / 34.58348°N 80.23312°W / 34.58348; -80.23312 [1]
Latitude and Longitude:

34°35′01″N 80°13′59″W / 34.58348°N 80.23312°W / 34.58348; -80.23312 [1]
Area45,348 acres (183.52 km2)
Established1939
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Website www.fws.gov/refuge/Carolina_Sandhills/

The Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge is a 45,348-acre (183.52 km2) national wildlife refuge (NWR) located in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from a headquarters located in McBee, South Carolina. The refuge is served by U.S. Highway 1, which passes through it. [2]

Geology

With respect to geologic setting, the Carolina Sandhills NWR consists of Quaternary sands of eolian (wind-blown) origin that were active episodically from ~75,000 to 6,000 years ago, but the sands are stabilized by vegetation under modern climate conditions. [3] These Quaternary sands, which are mapped as the Pinehurst Formation, overlie Cretaceous units of sand, sandstone, conglomerate, and mud of fluvial (river) origin that are mapped collectively as the Middendorf Formation. [4]

Ecology

The Carolina Sandhills NWR is dedicated to the preservation of a portion of the Carolina Sandhills, a distinct ecosystem characterized by inland sand dunes, [3] thin or absent topsoil, and frequent brush fires.

Recurrent, noncatastrophic fires tend to remove invasive shrubs and maximize the health of fire-tolerant species such as the longleaf pine. Pine-friendly birds and migratory birds, such as the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, wild turkey, and bald eagle also thrive in the Sandhills. [2] Mammals have also showing recoveries; recent species include red fox, eastern fox squirrel, beaver, white-tailed deer, otter, bobcat, opossum, raccoon, cottontail rabbit. [5]

Current refuge management practices at the Carolina Sandhills NWR include a program of prescribed burnings. [6]

Human history

After attempts to farm this portion of the Sandhills were unsuccessful during the Great Depression, the region was consolidated by New Deal federal managers into the current National Wildlife Refuge in 1939.

References

  1. ^ "Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b "Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  3. ^ a b Swezey, C. S.; Fitzwater, B. A.; Whittecar, G. R.; Mahan, S. A.; Garrity, C. P.; Aleman Gonzalez, W. B. & Dobbs, K. M. (2016). "The Carolina Sandhills: Quaternary eolian sand sheets and dunes along the updip margin of the Atlantic Coastal Plain province, southeastern United States". Quaternary Research. 86: 271–286.
  4. ^ Swezey, C. S.; Fitzwater, B. A.; & Whittecar, G. R. (2016). "Geology and geomorphology of the Carolina Sandhills, Chesterfield County, South Carolina". in: Gold, Structures, and Landforms in Central South Carolina (W. R. Doar III, ed.): Geological Society of America Field Guide 42, pp. 9-36.
  5. ^ http://www.npshistory.com/brochures/nwr/carolina-sandhills-2002.pdf
  6. ^ "Refuge to Begin Conducting Prescribed Burns in February" (PDF). United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2011-12-14.

 This article incorporates  public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

External links