Important Bird and Birding Areas
Bass River Marsh

IBBA Site Guide

Burlington and Ocean Counties
Coordinates: N 39.66893
W 74.4403
Site Map
Pinelands: New England / Mid-Atlantic Coast

Area: 44,031 Acres     

Habitat: Mixed and coniferous forest; tidal and nontidal wetlands

Site Description: Bass River Marsh is located north of Port Republic and bordered by the Mullica and Wading Rivers to the southwest and to the east by Bass River State Forest (SF) and Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This site includes the fresh and saltwater wetlands of the lower portion of Bass River and forms an arm of the Mullica River Estuary. Portions of the site are contained within Edwin B. Forsythe NWR and Bass River State Forest while a significant land base remains in private ownership. Bass River Marsh is recognized as a globally significant important bird area by National Audubon for supporting Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows.

IBA Criteria:
Conservation Concern – State-endangered (B)Bald Eagle, Black Skimmer, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon
Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Salt Marsh/Wetland (B)Clapper Rail, Marsh Wren, Osprey, Salt-marsh Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, Willet
Significant Congregations
Marsh Wren
Marsh WrenJim Gilbert
Birds: State-endangered birds breeding at the Bass River Marsh include Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons and Black Skimmers. Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows, Seaside Sparrows, Marsh Wrens, Willets, Ospreys and Clapper Rails are common breeders of the extensive salt marsh and wetland habitats. The Bass River Marsh is also an important foraging area for colonial waterbirds, such as Black-crowned Night-Herons, and several species of terns.

Conservation: Although sections of the Bass River Marsh are protected as part of Edwin B. Forsythe NWR and Bass River SF, development pressure on privately-owned land and recreational overuse are potential threats. Invasive species, including the common reed (Phragmites australis), have also reduced the habitat value of these marshes for many wildlife species. Protection of publicly and privately-owned lands should occur through regulation, acquisition and restoration.

Additional Information: Site Report
Bass River Marsh
Bass River MarshBen Wurst