Important Bird Areas

Grand River-Upper

Ohio

This IBA is defined as associated habitats along the Grand River upstream from the Harpersfield Dam. This area of the state is relatively flat and prone to flooding; historically it was extensive swamp woodland with associated sedge meadows and marshes. Thirty-three miles are recognized as scenic by Ohio's Wild and Scenic River program.
Grand River Terraces is a mix of wet meadow, floodplain forest, and hemlock swamp forest, situated along the Grand River. The natural hemlock swamp is one of the few remaining in Ohio. The Grand River is well known for its diverse species of wildlife and several species of orchids, the largest Ohio population of dewdrop (Dalibarda repens), as well as wild calla (Calla palustris), and hobblebush (Viburnum alnifolium).
The Morgan Swamp area is a 2,000-acre remnant of what once was a five square
mile swamp. The Nature Conservancy currently protects approximately 1,000 acres here. To date over 115 bird species, 24 fishes, 26 reptiles, and 24 mammals have been recorded on the area. Several state-listed dragonflies and butterflies have been recorded for the area, as well as many rare plants.
Camp Beaumont is 1,260 acres of forests, fields, wetlands, and lakes run by the Boy Scouts of America. It is located along the Grand river just south of the Grand River Terraces. Several species of rare plants have been found on the area.
The 7,000 acres of the Grand River Wildlife Area include several thousand acres of second-growth woodland-much of it swamp forest-with scattered marshlands and cultivated fields.

Ornithological Summary

Grand River Terraces is home to a number of rare and state-listed birds. It is one of the few remaining hemlock swamps left in Ohio. Species found in this habitat include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, and Northern Saw-whet Owl.
Morgan Swamp has a variety of wetland and wooded habitats. Breeding birds at Morgan Swamp include Least Bittern, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Virginia Rail, Common Moorhen, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Marsh Wren, Sedge Wren, and Cerulean Warbler.
Camp Beaumont has many acres of woods and wetlands. Here, breeding birds include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Cerulean Warbler.
Wetlands and marsh areas along Grand River in Grand River Wildlife Area have nesting: Least Bitterns, Pied-billed Grebes, Common Moorhens, Blue?winged Teals, Hooded Mergansers, Cerulean and Prothonotary Warblers, Marsh Wrens, Soras, and Virginia Rails, Alder Flycatchers, and Northern Harriers; plus migration and wintering area. Northern Shrikes are regularly seen in winter. Relatively intact wet woods offer a diversity of breeding species rarely seen elsewhere, as well as high densities of several species otherwise scarce in the NE quarter of the state. This was a site for river otter releases in the late 1980s. Snowshoe hares were released here winter 1999-2000.

Conservation Issues

Development communities threaten the integrity of the wet forest floodplain/lakes along the Upper Grand. One of the biggest threats to the Grand River Terraces is development of adjacent property that would break up the continuity of the forest and land. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History actively attempts to purchase additional land and works to maintain habitat diversity and control successional changes to the old fields, which may eliminate the habitat of several species of wildlife (e.g. Harris's checkerspot butterfly).
Invasive species threaten the integrity of several natural areas. Reed canary grass has taken over many of the marshes in the northern end of the Grand River Wildlife Area. Invasive species are a major threat to the ecosystem at Morgan Swamp. The Nature Conservancy has been actively working at controlling invasives there. Invasive species and development of adjacent property threaten Camp Beaumont.

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