Birds & Wildlife
Sussex County, NJ hosts several recognized Important Bird Areas and Natural Heritage Priority Sites.
The fields, meadows, ridge tops and hillsides of the Sussex Skylands provide excellent habitat for Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Red-shouldered Hawks, Great Horned Owls and Bald Eagles.
Important Bird Areas (IBA) are sites, identified by the National Audubon Society, that provide essential habitat for one or more bird species that are either threatened, endangered, or vulnerable due to a restricted range, restricted habitat type/biome, or high densities due to their "congregatory behavior." An IBA's significance is prioritized as either global, continental, or state.
Portions of two globally significant IBA's fall within Sussex County, NJ.
- The Old Mine Road IBA, consists of mixed hardwood forest, riverine forest, hemlock glens, spruce-pine plantings, occasional fields and wetlands. This site includes the Depew Island Natural Heritage Priority Site and intersects the Kittatinny Mountain Macrosite, which are recognized by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) as two of the state's most significant natural areas.
- The Pequannock Watershed spans 11 municipalities in 3 counties including Sussex County.. The region contains the Pequannock River and its major tributaries, the Macopin River, Clinton Brook, Apshawa Brook and Pacock Brook. This region is characterized by large tracts of contiguous forests and wetlands.
There are also 21 state IBA's in the county:
- Allamuchy Mountain State Park
- Bear Swamp Wildlife Management Area - Sussex
- Cedar Swamp/Farber Tract
- Clove Brook Road Corridor
- Delaware Water Gap and Valley
- Giant Fen Area
- Hamburg Mountain
- Hyper Humus Marshes
- Kittatinny Camp/Van Ness Road
- Kittatinny Mountain Eastern Slope
- Moe Mountain
- Pequannock Watershed
- Rockport Marsh
- Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area
- Stokes State Forest and High Point State Park
- Vernon Valley Grasslands/Pochuck Marsh
- Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge
- Walpack Valley
- Wantage Grasslands
- Wawayanda Mountain
- Whittingham Wildlife Management Area