Big Brook Region Grasslands consist of a mixture of habitats located on the border of Colts Neck and Marlboro in Monmouth County. This site includes Monmouth County?s Big Brook Park, originally acquired to help protect the Navesink River watershed, and adjacent lands. Big Brook Park has been recognized as a major site for fossils from the Cretaceous and Pleistocene ages.

Ornithological Summary

Conservation Concern ? Conservation Priority: Northern Bobwhite (B)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Scrub-shrub/Barrens: Blue-winged Warbler, American Woodcock, Field Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Towhee, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Wood-Pewee (B)

Significant Migrant Stopover/Flyover-Landbirds (SM, FM)

Conservation Issues

Succession of fields and scrub-shrub habitats to forest, overabundant deer and several invasive plant and insect species have been identified by Monmouth County?s Park System as threats to the habitats of the Big Brook Park region. The County manages several fields to benefit grassland and scrub-shrub dependant species. The Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners recently approved the Monmouth County Park System?s Deer Management Program to control growing deer populations on county-owned land. The Park System has identified numerous invasive plant and insect species, including purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), multiflora-rose (Rosa multiflora), porcelain-berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata), Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) and the Asian longhorn beetle, which displace native species and reduce habitat and species diversity. The Park System has initiated an inventory of invasive species, implemented projects involving large-scale removal of invasive plants and insects and produced educational brochures to reduce their impacts. Protection of undeveloped, privately-owned lands adjacent to the Big Brook Region Grasslands can be achieved by promoting landowner incentives for protecting and managing habitat and by prioritizing parcels for acquisition. NJ Department of Environmental Protection?s Green Acres Program, the Monmouth Conservation Foundation, Friends of Holmdel Open Space and the State Agriculture Development Committee continue to identify and preserve open space parcels in Monmouth County.

Ownership

Owned by: Monmouth County Park System
805 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ
07738 Phone:(732) 842-4000

Habitat

Deciduous woods, shrub-scrub, grassland and riparian habitat

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