Dan's Mountain IBA includes a large forested block south of I-68 between Cumberland and Frostburg in Allegany County. This forest follows the ridgeline of Dan?s Mountain, with elevations ranging between 173 m and 909 m. The site is dominated by oak-hickory forest, accounting for about 94% of the area. Mixed and coniferous forest combine to represents less than 2% of the area. Approximately 3,788 ha of the proposed IBA are owned and managed by Maryland DNR as the Dan?s Mountain Wildlife Management Area and 195 ha as Dan?s Mountain State Park. The remaining lands in the IBA are privately owned. The boundary of this IBA is based on green infrastructure hubs from Maryland?s Green Infrastructure Assessment with adjustments reflecting current landuse and forest contiguity.
The oak-hickory forest found in the rugged terrain of Dan's Mountain IBA supports a globally significant population of Cerulean Warbler, a rapidly declining Forest-Interior Dwelling Species (FIDS). The Maryland Department of Natural Resources lists FIDS as birds that require large, intact areas of forest interior for breeding. Bird Blitz surveys in 2009 covering a small portion of the site counted 19 singing males, suggesting that the entire site may support at least 127 pairs of this species. This site also hosts populations of statewide significance of four other forest-interior bird species that are at risk in Maryland: Wood Thrush, Worm-eating Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler (each listed on the Audubon/American Bird Conservancy Watchlist (Category Yellow), and Louisiana Waterthrush. The FIDS bird community is reasonably diverse, with 24 species regularly breeding, including good numbers of Hooded Warbler, Black-and-White warbler, and American Redstart, and smaller numbers of some Appalachian specialties, such as Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo and Winter Wren.