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Carters Pond BCA Management Guidance Summary

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Site Name: Carters Pond Bird Conservation Area

State Ownership and Managing Agency: Department of Environmental Conservation

Location: Washington County, Town of Greenwich.

Size of Area: 447 acres

DEC Region: 5

General Site Information: Wetland and upland complex that includes open water, emergent marsh, wooded swamp, shrub wetlands, forests, old fields, grasslands, and shrublands.

Vision Statement: Manage the area to conserve the diverse assemblage of bird species utilizing the area, and the habitats upon which they rely.

Key BCA Criteria: Migratory concentration site, diverse species concentration site, individual species concentration site, species at risk site (ECL § 11-2001, 3.e, f, g, and h). Species of interest include: pied-billed grebe (Threatened), least bittern (Threatened), osprey (Special Concern), Virginia rail, common moorhen, American coot, marsh wren, great blue heron, green heron, American black duck, blue-winged teal, American woodcock.

Critical Habitat Types: Deep emergent marsh, shrub swamp, forested wetlands, shrublands, old fields.

Operation and Management Considerations:

  • Identify habitat management activities needed to maintain site as a BCA.
    Maintenance of stable water levels during the nesting season (April through July) will benefit marsh nesting birds. Control of purple loosestrife should be implemented. It is just becoming established, and a plan to remove this invasive species should be developed before it becomes more established. The site provides nesting and migration habitat for American woodcock. This could be enhanced with a sound management plan that incorporates some even-aged management to maintain and enhance early successional habitats.

  • Identify seasonal sensitivities; adjust routine operations accordingly.
    Maintenance of stable water levels during the nesting season (April through July) will benefit marsh nesting birds. Forestry operations and mowing of grasslands should be completed after the nesting season (April through July).

  • Identify state activities or operations which may pose a threat to the critical habitat types identified above; recommend alternatives to existing and future operations which may pose threats to those habitats.
    The site provides nesting and migration habitat for American woodcock, waterfowl, and marsh birds. The site is also used as a pheasant stocking release site. This tends to concentrate a lot of hunting activity into the area, in particular the areas being utilized by resident woodcock. This hunting pressure is heavy in early October, when the resident woodcock are still present which could result in high mortality of local breeding woodcock.

  • Identify any existing or potential use impacts; recommend new management strategies to address those impacts.
    See above discussion on pheasant stocking.

Education, Outreach, and Research Considerations:

  • Assess current access; recommend enhanced access, if feasible.
    See above discussion on pheasant stocking. Current access is excellent, and includes a cartop boat launch, nature trail, and observation deck.

  • Determine education and outreach needs; recommend strategies and materials.
    There is considerable local interest in this area. An education program that provides information about the diversity of wetland-dependent and early successional bird species using the area would be beneficial.

  • Identify research needs; prioritize and recommend specific projects or studies.
    Least bittern and pied-billed grebe use of the area has declined. Research on causes of these declines are needed. Grassland species utilization needs to be assessed. Inventory for possible use by cerulean warblers is needed. Monitoring of woodcock population to determine impacts of hunting pressure associated with this site being a pheasant release site is needed.

DEC Region 5 Wildlife Manager: 518-897-1291

New York Natural Heritage Program. 1998. Carter Pond Biodiversity Inventory Report. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

Wells, J. V. 1998. Important Bird Areas in New York State. National Audubon Society, Albany, New York.

Date BCA Designated: 10/22/02

Date MGS Prepared: 10/15/01

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