To establish rigorous and scientifically defensible baseline data on birds, mammals, and herpetofauna in the Lower Buffalo River, AES conducted a 12-month faunal survey under GLRI funding for the Lower Buffalo Area of Concern. With millions of dollars being annually spent on design and implementation of habitat restoration in this survey area, these data will provide insight into future changes in wildlife populations and habitat, as future studies correlate wildlife and habitat condition.
Habitats in the project area included fallow field/grassland (barren/gravel lands, weedy fields, and early successional woody species), upland forest edge, remnant riparian forest, open water (Buffalo River and Lake Erie), and wetland (created shallow pond, floodplain, and backchannel/shoal).
The surveys documented 169 bird species, 20 mammal species, and 12 herpetofaunal species. AES wildlife ecologists recorded seven bird species and two mammals (bats) designated in New York as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need. One recorded reptile species is a NYS Species of Concern (eastern spiny softshell).
Restoration potential was identified in undeveloped and abandoned lots adjacent the Lower Buffalo River. Recommendations included maintaining and enhancing grassland habitat, expanding the floodplain forest, prioritizing invasive species management, increasing wetland acreage, and managing sand/cobble shorelines for spiny softshell turtle nesting.
The project, completed for the Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper, included the preparation of an EPA approved Quality Assurance Project Plan.
- EPA QAPP
- Ecological Monitoring
- Bird, Mammal, Reptile + Amphibian Studies
- Habitat Mapping + Assessment
Buffalo River Wildlife Study
Erie County, New York