CORNWALL – The Black Rock and Schunnemunk forests have been designated as an important bird area (IBA) by Audubon New York.
The forests will become part of an expanded, existing Audubon IBA.
William Schuster, executive director of the Black Rock Forest Consortium, said in a prepared statement that the designation will help safeguard threatened bird species, including five that are on Audubon’s watch list, but are thriving in the local forests: the cerulean warbler; the wood thrush; and the blue-winged, worm-eating and prairie warblers.
Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch of Barnard College said large, mature forests like Black Rock can shield species like the cerulean warbler and wood thrush from nest parasites like the brown-headed cowbird, which lays its eggs in other species’ nests.
And Orange County Planning Commissioner David Church said the designation can help community and land-use planners make smarter decisions that avoid or lessen the impact of public and private land development on birds.
Erin Crotty of Audubon New York said the group is grateful to the consortium for its “vision, hard work and model stewardship practices.”
- Michael Randall