Important Bird Areas

Conneaut Marsh - Geneva Marsh

Pennsylvania

The Conneaut Lake Outlet runs southeast from Conneaut Lake about 13 miles before emptying into French Creek. It forms Conneaut Marsh (also known as Geneva Marsh) and includes all of SGL 213. Approximately 1/3 of the site consists of Pennsylvania's largest remaining emergent marsh (cattails etc.), 1/4 is forested wetland, 1/5 is scrub-shrub swamp, and the remainder includes areas of deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests of various ages, as well as herbaceous, mixed, and shrub-brush rangelands. Conneaut Lake Outlet was originally formed by glacial outwash. The marsh holds evidence of former high levels of lake Erie, such as bedded sand, silt, clay, and gravel. A number of rare plant and animal species occur at the site, including Spatterdock Darner (a dragonfly).

Directions: Take I-79 S near Meadville to Exit 35 at Geneva.

{link:For conservation plan, click here|http://pa.audubon.org/IBA_Consplans/IBA7.pdf}

{link:For fact sheet, click here|http://pa.audubon.org/Sites/Site7.pdf}

Ornithological Summary

The size and diversity of wetland types here makes this one of the most important sites in the state for wetland species. Numerous threatened and endangered species, and probably some of the state's largest breeding populations of wetland birds occur. Swampy forest edges and streamsides support Prothonotary Warbler. Open pools host large numbers of migrant waterfowl, and marsh edges see concentrations of migratory shorebirds in the spring.

Conservation Issues

All of Geneva Marsh is in State Game Lands 213. Although most of this area is relatively secure from serious threats, recreational use does have the potential to disturb nesting eagles and marsh birds. Eagle nest areas in the marsh are clasified as propogation areas with no public access from March through July. The hydrology of this wetland complex is now primarioly controlled by two low-level dams. Channels provide limited access to the area, but many are choked with dense vegetation. Overall, this site is difficult to access, which probably helps to protect it, but as a result, it is not well studied.