This site includes the Cannonsville Reservoir, which lies in the former
Delaware River valley, an additional mile of river to the north and two
miles to the south, and the surrounding contiguous forest. According to
the NY GAP land cover data, approximately 70% of the site is forested,
and includes Appalachian oak-pine, deciduous wetland, evergreen
northern hardwood, evergreen plantation, oak, sugar maple mesic,
and successional hardwood forests. The reservoir and surrounding
land are owned by the City of New York and are part of the public
Bald Eagles are found at the site throughout the year and have nested
here since 1988. Other at-risk species supported at the site include
the American Black Duck (migrant), Common Loon (migrant),
Osprey (migrant), Wood Thrush (breeds), Prairie Warbler (breeds),
and Canada Warbler (breeds). The reservoir serves as a stopover site
for waterfowl including the Tundra Swan, Wood Duck, American
Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Ring-necked Duck,
Black Scoter, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser,
Red-breasted Merganser, and Horned Grebe.
This site is listed in the 2002 Open Space Conservation Plan as a
priority site under the project name New York City Watershed Lands.
Permanent protection and stewardship of private portions of the site are
needed to prevent fragmentation resulting from development. Options
include public or land trust acquisition, purchase of conservation
easements, and sustainable forestry agreements. The major human
impact on eagles at the site is caused by recreational boaters and anglers.
Signs forbidding entry near eagle nests have been posted. Monitoring
of disturbance levels to eagles should continue.