Wawayanda Mountain lies at the northern border of Sussex County, just south of the New Jersey and New York state line. The site is largely composed of contiguous deciduous and coniferous forests with areas of scrub-shrub habitat. Wawayanda Mountain is part of Wawayanda State Park and is part of a continuous forest patch spanning over 10,000 acres. Breakneck Mountain and the Wawayanda Macrosite, both Natural Heritage Priority Sites, intersect Wawayanda Mountain. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) designates these sites as the state?s most significant natural areas. This site is also located within the Highlands Preservation Area, a region of exceptional natural resource value designated by NJDEP?s Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (Highlands Act). This act preserves open space and protects NJ?s diversity of natural resources.

Ornithological Summary

Conservation Concern ? State-endangered: Red-shouldered Hawk (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-special Concern: Worm Eating Warbler (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-special Concern: Canada Warbler (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-endangered: Red-shouldered Hawk (B)

Conservation Concern ? Conservation Priority: Ruffed Grouse (B)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 28 Forest: Acadian Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Canada Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Gray Catbird, Eastern Wood-pewee, Hooded Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Scarlet Tanager, Wild Turkey, Wood Duck, Wood Thrush, Worm-eating Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo (B)

Significant Congregations-Exceptional Diversity: Landbirds (B)

Significant Migrant Stopover/Flyover-Raptors (FM)

Conservation Issues

The major threats to Wawayanda Mountain include invasive plant species, unauthorized off-road vehicle use, cowbird parasitism and development. Ongoing development reduces habitat suitability for forest interior birds by replacing and fragmenting formerly contiguous forest habitats. Expanding development also degrades water quality through increased input of point and nonpoint sources of pollution. Protection and restoration of privately-owned upland habitats of this site should be a priority. Habitats within and adjacent to this site should be prioritized for acquisition. Outreach to landowners should promote the various state and federal incentive programs that compensate landowners for habitat restoration. Additionally, many nesting birds are now parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds. Cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species ultimately compromising the parents? ability to raise their own chicks. Exotic pests and tree diseases threaten forest health in this area. Bacterial leaf scorch, one of many foliage diseases, and the hemlock wooly adelgid, for example, has caused extensive tree mortality. The spread of invasive plant species, including Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum) and garlic-mustard (Alliaria petiolata), are impacting forests by reducing habitat diversity, altering forest structures, suppressing forest regeneration and outcompeting native understory. Appropriate methods of managing invasive species may include mechanical removal and/or use of herbicides. Overabundant deer is further compromises forest health. Extensive, unregulated off-road vehicle use is also disturbing and degrading habitats.


NJ Division of Parks and Forestry
885 Warwick Turnpike
phone# (973)853-4462


Deciduous forest with areas of shrub-scrub and coniferous woods

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