A friendly thought or two from one who has traveled many a mile around
and in peatlands all over this continent.
As a person who loves to see and discover birds and has worked in
peatland conservation one way or another for many years, may I share a
few quick thoughts about traveling in bogs and other peatlands.
Peatlands are very susceptible to long-term impact from intrusions no
greater than a footprint. Recovery can take very long periods of time,
and depend significantly on the type of peatland. I have seen
individual footprints clearly recognizable after nearly a decade, paths
evident after they ceased being used for at least 150 years, and mat
integrity (i.e. a cohesive root net that supports ones weight) unable to
recover in at least 200 years. Similarly, the hummock and hollow
topography so evident in both open and wooded peatlands typically takes
decades to centuries to recover after being subdued by human or large
Rick Paradis (Director of UVM''s Natural Areas -- [log in to unmask])
and I have over the years developed what we think to be sound approaches
for limiting ones impact in peatlands. Either of us would be glad to
share those techniques with anyone.
Since peatlands vary so much in character, generic techniques are few.
However, for openers here are some thoughts: (a) stay on hard ground
as much as possible; (b) stay on established trails [to concentrate, not
spread, impact] when in peatland, (c) reduce the size of the party that
treads in wetland, (d) when stopped for listening or viewing in
peatland, do not move about or shuffle your feet, (e) do not assume it
is better to walk on hummocks or on hollows without knowing more about
the particular peatland type, (f) do not assume it is better to walk on
logs and woody plant root base without knowing more about the peatland
type and role those features play for various animals and plants, (g)
where streams border and pass through peatlands use watercraft as much
as possible. Again, any ideas such as these will vary according to the
type of peatland, its size, and its surroundings
I really enjoy all the bird reports from everyone, especially when I'm
stuck at my desk. Good birding all!
Ian A. Worley
Wayne Scott wrote:
>Sorry, I massacred the last message. The area in which the Palm Warbler was
>seen and heard is between the open muskeg surrounding Moose pond and South
>America Pond Road. Some bushwhacking from the Moose Bog trail is necessary
>to get to the location which is sphagnum bog with scattered black spruce and