Beverly Shores is a small dunes community located in the northeastern portion of Porter County. It is bordered to the immediate north by Lake Michigan and to the east by the Indiana Dunes State Park, another IBA. The Beverly Shores IBA includes both the private land of the community as well as the habitat owned and managed by the federal government as part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Two principle areas are the focal points of this IBA - the interdunal marsh bisected by the east-west road of Beverly Drive and the waters and beachfront along Lake Michigan. Habitats within the proposed area include lake, beach, wooded dunes, and interdunal marsh. The interdunal marsh and woodlots support a large variety of migratory and nesting passerines as well as waterbirds such as bitterns and rails. The lakefront and beach portion of the property regularly host congregations of ducks, loons, and gulls during migratory and non-breeding seasons.

Ornithological Summary

The Beverly Shores IBA is part of the larger area known as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and perhaps is unparalleled in the dune country when analyzing its ornithological diversity. The unique interdunal marsh ecology provides excellent habitat for nesting waterbirds - state-endangered species which likely nest here include King Rail, Virginia Rail, Common Moorhen, and American Bittern. The marshes also provide breeding habitat for landbirds of conservation concern such as Willow Flycatcher, Marsh Wren, Prairie Warbler, and Prothonotary Warbler. Seasonally, migrating loons, grebes, waterfowl, jaegers, and gulls can be found along the waters and beaches of Lake Michigan at the northern boundary of this IBA.

Ownership

Beverly Shores is a small duneland municipality located near the center of this IBA. It is bordered to the north by Lake Michigan and a narrow strip of federally-owned beach, which is a component of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. IDNL properties also constitute large portions of this property to the east, west, and south.

Habitat

The Beverly Shores Important Bird Area contains a unique and diverse conglomeration of habitat types. Beverly Drive, a two-lane road that laterally bisects the area in a near symmetric fashion, transects a large tract of interdunal marsh. This rare habitat occurs between old dune crests (before the last recession of Lake Michigan) and the current dune crests, and it is this ecological feature that is the primary interest of the IBA nomination. This unique habitat supports a diversity of plants and animals unique to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Intermixed with these wetlands are small pockets of upland forests (typically oak with remnant climax forest communities) and a few barren areas of wind-swept dunes. The proposed northern boundary of this IBA is also of interest as it is composed of the deep waters of Lake Michigan and its associated beach/dune frontage.

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