Site Description
West Rutland Marsh is long, narrow and extensive cattail marsh and associated upland fields along the Castleton River just north of the town of West Rutland. It is boardered and crossed by roads on all sides and by old marble quarries on the east. Natural Communities include Cattail Marsh and Buttonbush Swamp.

Birds
West Rutland Marsh hosts waterfowl, rails and other wetland birds and provides breeding habitat for several rare and priority species. Most notably perhaps, the elusive Least Bittern (S2), one of Vermont's rarest known breeders, inhabits the marsh's cattail edges along with American Bittern (S3). Other important species include Virginia Rail, Sora (S2), Pied-billed Grebe (S2), Common Moorhen (S2) and Blue-winged Warbler (S2). The state endangered Sedge Wren has nested here and Carolina Wren, Blue- gray Gnatcatcher (S3), Yellow-throated Vireo, Bobolink, Marsh Wren and Yellow billed Cuckoo have all occurred here as well.

Conservation
Parts of the West Rutland Marsh have been protected at both the local and state level, However the marsh has been used perennially as a dump. Rutland County Audubon has conducted annual clean-up days and has initiated "Marsh Appreciation Day" in conjunction with a citizen committee and the town government. A new boardwalk for wildlife viewing was installed in 2003. The proximity of housing and some industry is always a potential source of water pollution. Development is another potential problem for the marsh.

Ornithological Summary

West Rutland Marsh hosts waterfowl, rails and other wetland birds and provides breeding habitat for several rare and priority species. Most notably perhaps, the elusive Least Bittern (S2), one of Vermont's rarest known breeders, inhabits the marsh's cattail edges along with American Bittern (S3). Other important species include Virginia Rail, Sora (S2), Pied-billed Grebe (S2), Common Moorhen (S2) and Blue-winged Warbler (S2). The state endangered Sedge Wren has nested here and Carolina Wren, Blue- gray Gnatcatcher (S3), Yellow-throated Vireo, Bobolink, Marsh Wren and Yellow billed Cuckoo have all occurred here as well.

Conservation Issues

Parts of the West Rutland Marsh have been protected at both the local and state level, However the marsh has been used perennially as a dump. Rutland County Audubon has conducted annual clean-up days and has initiated "Marsh Appreciation Day" in conjunction with a citizen committee and the town government. A new boardwalk for wildlife viewing was installed in 2003. The proximity of housing and some industry is always a potential source of water pollution. Development is another potential problem for the marsh.

Ownership

Municipal, Private.

Habitat

Marsh, riparian or floodplain forest, shrub, peatland, river, suburban, rocky outcrop

Land Use

Hunting and fishing, agriculture, utility right-of-way, residential, commercial, abandoned quarries

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