Freshwater marsh; Blackgum/Pond Cypress/mixed bay forests; Slash/Longleaf pine forests; mixed shrub/scrub areas; lakes SE GA coastal plain. ONWR is part of Okefenokee Swamp. Okefenokee Swamp has major protion classed as Federal Refuge, but remainder includes private, state, private-company areas; the swamp sits on a perched plateau with water mainly coming from rainfall; cyclic droughts; islands, lakes, freshwater marshes, headwaters of Suwanee and St. Mary's Rivers.

{link:For IBA map, click here.|http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/usibac/2008_P7/GA3096m_OkeNWR08.pdf}

Ornithological Summary

Sighting Source Key: 1=published reports,; 2=surveys (CBC; BBS; etc.); 3=personal observations; 4=other sources (specify)

Conservation Issues

Invasive and non-invasive plants: some present and are being control with chemical and mechanical measures. Introduced animals are feral hogs that cause some surface damage, especially indroughts. Cowbirds are present, but there are no studies examining the impact. Air pollution with mercury and lead from unknown source. Development includes proposed titanium stripmine along the east border. Distrubances include droughts and fires that are cyclic with varying impact; firebreaks and control on the borders. Hydrologic changes include proposed titanium stripmine with water drawn watertable. Other issues include private logging on borders. Various logging and dredging activities occured prior to refuge status and changed its original habitat. Suwannee River silt impacted water levels and removal is proposed. Suwannee Canal gernerally keeps water in droughts.

Habitat

The lowland deciduous forest includes mixed cypress forest of pond cypress, blackgum, loblolly bay, red bay and white bay. The other forest type includes blackgum and bay forest.

Land Use

A major land use listed by the nominator is "undeveloped".

The Okefenokee is a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge and is managed for wildlife protection, forestry, fisheries and research.

It is also a Ramsar site, a wetlands of international significance: http://www.ramsar.org/sitelist.pdf:
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge 18/12/86 Georgia, Florida 162,635 ha 30?48?N 082?20?W

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