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Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

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Monomoy Island National Wildlife Refuge is federal wildlife refuge located on Monomoy Island
Monomoy Island
Monomoy Island is an 8 mile long spit of sand extending southwest from Chatham, Cape Cod off the Massachusetts mainland.- History :It was taken over by the US government just before World War II...

 in Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...



It was taken over by the US government just before World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The island was home to the Monomoy Island Gunnery Range
Monomoy Island Gunnery Range
The Monomoy Island Gunnery Range was a former naval gunnery range for aviators, located on Monomoy Island, in Chatham, Massachusetts. The site was principally used for machine gun target practice, and bullets and fragments can still be found on the refuge. After the was, the site became part of the...

 until 1944 when the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge was established. Its goal was to provide habitat for migratory birds. Sand stretches for eight miles (13 km) off the elbow of Cape Cod, forming the barrier islands of North and South Monomoy. In addition to the two islands, a 40 acres (16.2 ha) unit on Morris Island is also part of the refuge. This is where the headquarters and visitor center are located, including hiking trails and a scenic overlook of the Atlantic Ocean.

Size and wildlife

The size of the refuge is 7,604 acres (31 km²) with varied habitats of oceans, salt and freshwater marshes, dunes, freshwater ponds, and some historic manmade structures, such as the Monomoy Point Light and keeper's quarters (decommissioned but open to the public). The refuge provides important resting, nesting and feeding habitat for migratory birds, including the federally protected piping plover
Piping Plover
The Piping Plover is a small sand-colored, sparrow-sized shorebird that nests and feeds along coastal sand and gravel beaches in North America. The adult has yellow-orange legs, a black band across the forehead from eye to eye, and a black ring around the neck...

 and roseate tern
Roseate Tern
The Roseate Tern is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. This bird has a number of geographical races, differing mainly in bill colour and minor plumage details....

. More than ten species of seabirds, shorebirds, and waterbirds nest on the islands. The refuge supports the second largest nesting colony of common terns on the Atlantic seaboard with over 8,000 nesting pairs.

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