The Indian Trail Swamp IBA contains the headwaters and upper watersheds of Dias and Green Creeks between Indian Trail Road and Burleigh Road in Middle Township. It is bound by Route 47 to the west and residential development along Route 9 to the east. This site is located within the Cape May Corridor, a major migratory stopover area for migrating birds, and consists of nearly contiguous wetlands and upland forests representing a large portion of Cape May Peninsula?s last remaining intact habitats. This IBA also intersects two Natural Heritage Priority Sites, the Cape May Corridor Macrosite and the Indian Trail Swamp Site. Designated by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Natural Heritage Priority Sites are considered the state?s most significant natural areas. The Indian Trail Swamp IBA is adjacent to the US Fish and Wildlife Service?s (USFWS) Cape May National Wildlife Refuge and The Nature Conservancy?s (TNC) Indian Trail Swamp Preserve which protects rare Cape May lowland swamp. The site?s derives its name from Indian Trail Road, a trail used by Native American tribes to travel between the Delaware Bay to the Atlantic Ocean.

Ornithological Summary

Conservation Concern - State-threatened: Barred Owl(B)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Forested Wetland: Kentucky Warbler, Wood Duck, Acadian Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Louisiana Waterthrush (B)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Mixed Upland Forest: Wood Thrush, Ketucky Warbler, Whip-poor-will, Great Crested Flycatcher, Northern Flicker, Black-and-white Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Broad-winged Hawk, Worm-eating Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Acadian Flycatcher, Gray Catbird, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, Common Grackle (B)

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

Conservation Issues

The contiguous forests that characterize Cape May Peninsula?s central corridor are facing enormous development pressure. Expanding residential and industrial development has rapidly fragmented and destroyed hundreds of acres of upland forest. Of particular concern, is a proposal for a 265-acre mining operation and recycling facility within the forested habitats south of Indian Trail Road. Because of the project?s direct and far-reaching impacts in a highly environmentally-sensitive area, local residents and several organizations including the NJ Audubon Society and American Littoral Society have opposed the project and urged the Middle Township Zoning Board and Township Committee to reject the proposal. Industrial development of this magnitude will result in significant habitat loss and fragmentation and will negatively impact the area?s natural resources. Aside from direct habitat loss and fragmentation, the potential impacts of sand and gravel mining can include channel instability, erosion and deposition, deleterious effects on aquatic habitat and riparian ecology and increased turbidity. Activities associated with mining can lower local groundwater and surface water levels and interrupt groundwater flow. As unprotected and unmanaged land, most of the Indian Trail Swamp IBA?s habitats are also degraded by illegal dumping and off-road vehicle use. Protection and restoration of unprotected lands in this area should be a priority. A small portion of the site is protected as part of TNC?s Indian Trail Swamp Preserve. The Conservancy is working to protect additional properties and to establish an endowment to properly manage the wide range of special resources that the site harbors.


Owned by:
The Nature Conservancy

Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge

2350 Route 47

Delmont, NJ 08314



Forested wetland and mixed upland forest

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