This site includes a vast mosaic of wetlands and grasslands in an
agricultural landscape. It contains large areas of wet sedge meadows,
which are unusual in most other parts of state. The site includes many
privately owned parcels, and the 8,782-acre Upper and Lower Lakes
WMA administered by NYS DEC. According to the NY GAP land
cover data, approximately 35% of the site is open habitat, including
cropland and old field/pasture land.

Ornithological Summary

As an important wetland complex, this site supports the breeding
American Black Duck (confirmed), Common Loon (probable), Piedbilled
Grebe (confirmed), American Bittern (probable), Least Bittern
(probable), Osprey (confirmed), Northern Harrier (confirmed),
American Woodcock (probable), Black Tern (confirmed), Willow
Flycatcher (probable), Sedge Wren (confirmed 1990s), Golden-winged
Warbler (probable), and Cerulean Warbler (possible). Additional atrish
species include Sharp-shinned Hawk (confirmed), Cooper?s Hawk
(probable), Common Nighthawk (probable), Horned Lark (probable),
Wood Thrush (probable), and Grasshopper Sparrow (probable). The
Upper and Lower Lakes WMA has become an important breeding
site for Black Terns (20 plus pairs in 2003).

Conservation Issues

The Upper and Lower Lakes WMA is managed for a diversity of
wetland-associated species and has been designated as a state Bird
Conservation Area. Indian Creek Nature Center is a 300-acre tract
of upland and marsh within the WMA that NYS DEC leases to The
North Country Conservation Education Association. The center
provides a number of programs in environmental education for school
groups, scouts, adults, and college classes. The privately owned areas
provide good habitat, and landowners should be encouraged to sustain
grassland and wetland habitats that will benefit priority species.
Inventory and monitoring of at-risk species throughout the area should
continue.

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