This site includes a fairly contiguous expanse of pitch pine/oak forest
with coastal ponds, red maple swamps, and other wetlands extending
from central Long Island to the South Fork, and varying from 2.5 to 9
miles wide. According to the NY GAP land cover data, approximately 65% of this site is pitch pine oak, which supports both forest and shrub
species. Other forest habitat includes oak and successional hardwoods.
Other shrub habitat includes successional shrub, shrub swamp, old/field
pasture, and cropland. The area supports one of the highest diversities of
rare plant and animal species in the state. It is owned by a mix of private,
municipal, state, federal, non-governmental conservation agencies.

Ornithological Summary

This is the largest pine barren ecosystem in New York, supporting atrisk
species (including breeding populations) such as the American Black
Duck (confirmed), Osprey (confirmed), Northern Harrier (probable
breeder), Sharp-shinned Hawk (possible breeder), Cooper?s Hawk
(confirmed), Upland Sandpiper (very few in recent years), American
Woodcock (confirmed), Common Nighthawk (confirmed), Whippoor-
will (confirmed), Willow Flycatcher (probable breeder), Horned
Lark (confirmed), Wood Thrush (confirmed), Blue-winged Warbler
(confirmed), Prairie Warbler (confirmed), Worm-eating Warbler (possible
breeder), Vesper Sparrow (confirmed), and Grasshopper Sparrow (225
ind. in 2000). The area includes the last remaining viable grassland bird
community on Long Island, with breeding Upland Sandpipers, Vesper
Sparrows, and Grasshopper Sparrows. Other characteristic pine barren
species that are abundant here include Brown Thrashers, Blue-winged
Warblers, Pine Warblers, Prairie Warblers, and Field Sparrows.

Conservation Issues

This site is listed in the 2002 Open Space Conservation Plan as a
priority site under the project name Pine Barrens Core, CGA &
CRA. Development is no longer a major threat because the area was
designated a New York State Forest Preserve by executive order in 1995;
since then, $32 million has been appropriated for land acquisition. The
David A. Sarnoff Pine Barrens Preserve has been designated a state
Bird Conservation Area. The Protected Lands Council, a collaboration
of land managers and interested citizens, meets regularly to coordinate
stewardship of protected lands. Any new or expanded recreation
proposals must consider potential impacts on birds and bird habitats.
If potential adverse impacts occur, alternative locations or designs must
be considered. Long-term threats are over-extraction or pollution of
groundwater, and succession caused by fire suppression. The Long Island
Pine Barrens has been selected by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) Fire
Learning Network as one of five demonstration sites nationwide. TNC
has also begun a pilot restoration project with volunteer partners from
local schools, businesses, and land management agencies to restore the
dwarf pine community.

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