Important Bird Areas

Island Beach State Park

New Jersey

Island Beach State Park (IBSP), bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and the west by Barnegat Bay, encompasses one of last remaining undeveloped barrier beaches in the northeastern United States. This 9.6 mile barrier island characterized by extensive primary and secondary dune habitats, a nationally significant maritime forest, tidal salt marsh and expansive beaches hosts an incredible diversity of birds each year. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection designated this site a Natural Heritage Priority Macrosite for harboring some of NJ?s most significant habitats.

Ornithological Summary

Species of Conservation Concern ? Federally-threatened; State-endangered: Piping Plover (B)

Species of Conservation Concern ? Federally-endangered; State-endangered: Least Tern (B)

Species of Conservation Concern ? State-endangered: Black Skimmer (B)

Species of Conservation Concern ? State-threatened: Osprey (B)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Beach/Dune: Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Black Skimmer, Least Tern, Common Tern, Willet (B)

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

Long-term Research/Monitoring

Conservation Issues

Major threats to the integrity of IBSP?s habitats include non-point sources of pollution from nearby intense development, recreational overuse of the park, disturbance from human activities including boat traffic and vehicular traffic on the beach and invasive plant species. Nonpoint sources include yard fertilizers, pesticides, septic sewage, motor oil and other household products that accumulate in the groundwater and are discharged into the bay. There is also continuing pressure on the park from an increasing number of visitors especially in the summer months. Recreational boating and off-road vehicles consistently degrade habitat and disturb breeding waterbird colonies and beach nesting birds. Additional disturbances and predation can be attributed to a growing gull population, feral cats, foxes, raccoons, opossum and rodents. Many of these issues have been addressed with educational signage, fencing and park regulations however additional enforcement and staff is recommended. Control of prominent invasive species such as Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), and common reed (Phragmites australis) is also encouraged.

Ownership

Owned By: State of NJ
Island Beach State Park
Contact: T. Mark Pitchell
P.O. Box 37
Seaside Park, NJ
08752 Phone: (732)793-0506

Habitat

Extensive dune systems, maritime forest, tidal marshes and sandy beaches