AWRI Information Services Center

Bear Creek Stewardship Plan - Wildlife Resources, Including Threatened and Endangered Species

The watershed is the habitat of an abundance of wildlife species and there is high public and governmental interest in maintaining these species and attracting others. Fish species found within the creek and lake systems include brown and brook trout, carp, pan fish, pike, bass, suckers and others. As discussed, much of the fishing is done by private landowners along or in the sections of the watercourse which flow through their lands, although Pickerel, Austin and Hyser Lakes do provide some public fishing acreage.

The many land uses and soil types in the watershed contribute to the diversity of other wildlife species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and spiders as well as to the presence of a wide range of native plants, including mushrooms, ferns, wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and deciduous and evergreen trees. Mammals such as rabbits, deer, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, skunk, mink, and woodchucks are much in evidence. Less often seen but documented are beaver, river otter, and fox, to name just a few mammalian species.

Amphibians including frogs, toads and salamanders of several species also abound along the stream corridor and in areas near lakes and ponds. Reptiles such as the box turtle are also found here, along with occasional non-poisonous snakes.

Insect species are varied and prolific and include a variety of stream-based macro-invertebrates (such as the caddis and mayfly) which are used as indicator species in monitoring water quality. Butterfly species, ants, bees, ladybugs, flies, and many others abound.

The watershed is also home to a wide range of game and non- game birds, including pheasant, grouse, quail, dove, and wild turkey. Landowners have considerable interest in managing their properties to attract game birds, as well as non-game species. Non-game species presently found in the watershed include raptors such as hawks and owls, bluebirds, bluejays, cardinals, finches, sparrows, crows, tanagers, killdeers, red-winged blackbirds, and several varieties of woodpecker. Canadian geese are attracted to the marshes and wetlands of the watershed, as are heron, mallard ducks, wood ducks, and other species of waterfowl.

Endangered and threatened species of plants and wildlife or special plants and animals in need of preservation that are found in the watershed include species of chestnut (Castanea dentata), sedges (Carex), rushes (Juncus), Pitcher plant (Saracenia), sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), box turtle (Terrapene), river otter (Lutra canadensis), red- shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), and various species of ferns.

Special plant communities within the watershed include the Saul Lake Bog, the Tiffany Avenue Bog and a southern hardwood forest on Waddell Creek.

Page last modified January 19, 2011