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Bashakill Bird Conservation Area

General Site Information: This BCA is comprised of the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area. Habitat is primarily non-tidal emergent wetlands through which the Bashakill River meanders. Wetlands are surrounded by deciduous woods and mixed woods, with some shrub lands. The area hosts a number of rare plants and animals (Spreading Globeflower, Ironcolor Shiner, Spotted Sunfish and Long-tailed Salamander). Limestone caves exist in the area as well. The area supports characteristic breeding wetland-dependent species (such as Great Blue Heron, Virginia Rail, Sora and Common Moorhen), several species at risk, as well as abundant waterfowl.

Species at risk include: Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, and Red-shouldered Hawk. The site hosts large migratory concentrations of Canada Goose (5,000) Ring-necked Duck and Wood Duck (1,000-2,000), as well as many other species of waterfowl.

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Bashakill BCA Management Guidance Summary

Site Name: Bashakill Bird Conservation Area

State Ownership and Managing Agency: Department of Environmental Conservation

Location: Sullivan County, Town of Mamakating.

Size of Area: 2,213 acres

DEC Region: 3

Vision Statement: Continue management activities to conserve the wetland-dependent bird and wildlife species using the area. Develop strategies for conserving and enhancing habitat for wetland and upland species.

Key BCA Criteria: Waterfowl concentration site; wading bird concentration site; diverse species concentration site; species at risk site (ECL §11-2001, 3.a, d, f, and g). Site hosts many state-listed species including breeding Pied-billed Grebe, American and Least Bittern, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, and Red-shouldered Hawk. Site hosts migratory concentrations of Canada Goose (5,000) Ring- necked Duck and Wood Duck (1,000-2,000), as well as many other species of waterfowl.

Critical Habitat Types: Wetlands surrounded by deciduous woods and shrublands. Area contains one of the largest bat hibernacula in the state with six species of bats.

Operation and Management Considerations:
Identify habitat management activities needed to maintain site as a BCA.

Review needs of wetland-dependent bird species and assess current state of habitat for those species. Maintain proper hydrological flow to provide habitat and food resources for wetland-dependent birds. Assess level of non-point source pollution on wetland habitats and bird species. Assess level of impact of invasive species and carry out control if necessary. The majority of the upland habitats are mature forests. Expansion of early successional habitats through habitat manipulation would add diversity to habitats and avian utilization.

Identify seasonal sensitivities; adjust routine operations accordingly.

Maintain appropriate water levels.

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.

Ensure that bird conservation concerns are addressed when the management plan is revised.

Identify any existing or potential use impacts; recommend new management strategies to address those impacts.

Uses are generally low intensity and consistent with BCA designation. Signs, enforcement and trail markings could be improved to increase awareness of the area as a BCA and improve public compliance with environmental protection guidelines.

Education, Outreach, and Research Considerations:
Assess current access; recommend enhanced access, if feasible.

Current access is adequate.

Determine education and outreach needs; recommend strategies and materials.

In partnership with Audubon, develop interpretive displays, materials and programs about state listed and characteristic bird species and their needs.

Identify research needs; prioritize and recommend specific projects or studies.

Complete inventory of state listed bird species, and other species of interest during breeding season, and for bird species utilization during migration.

Other Issues:
None identified.

Pat Vissering, DEC Region 3 Wildlife Biologist, 914-256-3090

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

Date BCA Designated: 6/16/00

Date MGS Prepared: 10/10/01

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