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Program Documents

EQIP Wildlife Habitat


Wildlife habitat management is important to reduce threats to wildlife due to habitat loss, disease, and invasive species. Through EQIP, NRCS is helping private landowners manage existing cropland, forestland, and pasture to best meet wildlife habitat needs or establish new wildlife habitat areas. 

Current habitat conditions on your land will be evaluated by NRCS to determine a plan for restoration. Plans with the largest impact on and benefit to wildlife habitat will be prioritized for funding.

EQIP provides conservation payments to restore and manage wildlife habitat through conservation practices. Such practices may include, but are not limited to:

  • Aquatic Organism Passage
  • Conservation Cover
  • Early Successional Habitat Development and Management
  • Field Border
  • Prescribed Burning
  • Riparian Buffers
  • Stream Habitat Improvement and Management
  • Upland or Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management

Priority Habitats

NRCS and its conservation partners developed a state plan to direct wildlife financial and technical assistance to several areas. Typical minimum acres and priority areas are targets and not requirements. The priority areas and typical minimum acres are:

  • Grasslands habitat - 20 acres
  • Pollinator habitat - ¼ acre
  • Woodland habitat - 10 acres
  • Wetland habitat - 5 acres
  • Disturbance-Dependent Habitat - 10 acres
  • Delaware Bay Geographic Area - 5 acres

Grassland Habitat

Grasslands are a declining habitat critical to a number of ground-nesting birds, several of which are state threatened or endangered. Funding is provided to create and manage grasslands that provide habitat for these species. An emphasis will be placed on establishing native plant species. Disturbance during the nesting season, April 1st through July 15th, is prohibited on these lands.

Woodland Habitat

Woodlands, including savannahs, can provide excellent wildlife habitat for many threatened and endangered species while still providing productive timber resources. Funding is provided to create and manage niche habitat areas within managed woodlots.

Disturbance-dependent Habitat

Habitats that depend upon a natural or human-induced disturbance in order to regenerate, such as Atlantic white cedar forests, fire dependent plant communities and scrub/shrub habitats can be effectively managed to sustain the species that depend on them. As an example, thinning of Pine Barrens forests, normally provided through natural wildfires, will provide critical habitat for native plans and small animals.

Pollinator Habitat

Pollinators are vital to the agricultural industry. As honey bee colonies continue to decline, it is even more important for farmers to attract native bees, wasps, flies, and other pollinators to their crops. Providing nectar, pollen, and larval food sources for pollinators, and year-found habitat can attract and sustain these species. Field borders, center pivot corners, and other odd areas around the farm are suitable for pollinator habitat.



Wetland Habitat

Small wetlands are vital to sustain many wetland species such as reptiles, amphibians, and birds. These species may help control insect pests on the farm year-round. Creating and managing wetland habitats in forested wetlands, coastal wetlands and riparian habitats can help protect these species from decline. Focus is on land not likely to be funded by the Wetlands Reserve Easement.

Delaware Bay Priority Area

The Delaware Bay counties of Salem, Cape May, and Cumberland are globally important habitat for many migratory wildlife species and have been designated as a priority area. Any habitat enhancement project in this priority area that benefits a declining species may be eligible for funding and technical assistance.

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