Bergen Swamp is located between the Niagara and Onondaga
limestone escarpments and is owned by a land trust, the Bergen Swamp
Preservation Society (BSPS). The swamp is a remnant of the ancient
glacial Lake Tonawanda. It includes northern white cedar forest,
pine-hemlock forest, and beech-maple deciduous forest. According to
the NY GAP land cover data, approximately 90% of the site is forest
habitat, which includes deciduous wetland, successional hardwood,
and sugar maple mesic forests. The site supports a high diversity of
plants, with a total of 2,392 species identified, and is especially known
for its orchids. Many of the plants are rare or endangered. The habitat
here is unique in New York State and rare nationally. Endangered nonavian
fauna are also present. The swamp has been recognized by the
U.S. Department of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark.

Ornithological Summary

This site is rich in breeding birds and has an assemblage of species
that do not breed elsewhere in the Lake Ontario plain. These include
boreal species such as the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Alder Flycatcher,
Blue-headed Vireo, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, Nashville Warbler,
Blackburnian Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Canada Warbler,
and Purple Finch. It also supports more southern species such as the
Acadian Flycatcher. Five species of breeding owls are present: the Great
Horned, Eastern Screech, Barred, Long-eared, and Northern Sawwhet
Owls. In addition, the following at-risk species are confirmed
breeders: the American Bittern, Willow Flycatcher, Wood Thrush,
Blue-winged Warbler, and Canada Warbler.

Conservation Issues

Bergen Swamp is a popular place to visit and has the potential to be
used for ecotourism. However, BSPS is concerned about overuse. A
permit is required for visits by groups of six or more people. BSPS
allows research at the swamp, but requires a permit. A limited hunting
program in cooperation with surrounding landowners is used to
control deer in order to limit browse damage. The effectiveness of
these measures is not known. Bergen Swamp is of historic interest as
one of the oldest nature preserves to be privately protected by a land
trust. It was first chartered by the New York Board of Regents in 1936
as a ?Living Museum.?

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