Carp Barrens Trail Study Phase 2 Report Completed

Ecologist Holly Bickerton has completed Phase 2 of the Carp Barrens Trail Study. A summary of her findings is provided below.

• The single largest impact of the trail network is the incursion of human presence into a previously inaccessible and regionally significant, high quality natural area. Cyclists, hikers, dog walkers and naturalists have all been observed using these trails.
• A high number of predated turtle nests along the trail suggest that the loose soil of the trail is functioning as a habitat sink, meaning female turtles may be drawn to nest in these unsafe areas.
• Five species (one considered regionally significant) of herptiles were found under rocks on or near a trail. Snakes or their sheltering rocks may be run over by bikes. The rocks on which they depend for shelter and hibernation have been displaced throughout the area for trail or cairn construction.
• Direct impacts (trampling, compaction, erosion) were observed to populations of nine regionally significant terrestrial plant species, and non-native plants continue to be observed in higher concentration along the trail network.
• Observation of fishers and Black Bear south of Thomas Dolan Parkway demonstrate that the area has a high ecological integrity for wide-ranging mammals, which may be affected by the increased presence of humans and dogs.

Posted by jlmason jlmason, October 18, 2019 11:09

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