Resource Management

Capture and Banding Wood Ducks

Refuge intern works on water control structures while wood ducks are enjoying Lake Caroline.

Banding of songbirds and wood ducks is one wildlife management tool used at Red River National Wildlife Refuge. During summer, we capture songbirds in mist nets, take measurements, and place a small metal numbered band on each bird’s leg before letting them fly free. During June and July, we close Lake Caroline so we can bait for wood ducks. Once ducks are gathered at the bait site, we capture them using a rocket net. We weigh, age and sex each duck and apply a leg band before letting them go. Banding waterfowl is one factor used to set harvest limits for waterfowl hunting.

The removal of invasive, exotic species is another important management activity that we perform at Red River National Wildlife Refuge. Wild hogs tear up habitat; giant salvia grows quickly to cover water ways; and Chinese tallow trees sprout everywhere soaking up sunlight, taking up nutrients and shading out our native trees. Using GPS, cameras and maps, staff, interns and volunteers monitor the spread and location of these invasive trouble-makers. When necessary we take action to stop them or slow their invasion.

We use trail cameras to monitor wildlife movement and to watch for new invasions of troublesome hogs. You never know who is going to show up on camera! So far we have documented white tail deer, armadillos, raccoons, hogs, great blue herons and other birds.

Trapping Occurs on this Refuge

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information on trapping within the National Wildlife Refuge System.