Tom Wessels, MA
Department of Environmental Studies
The Ossipee Pine Barrens represent the largest remaining example of this pine barrens plant community type left in New Hampshire. These pine barrens include an A-ranked occurrence of Pinus rigida-Quercus ilicifolia-Oryzopsis asperifolia Woodland and a host of rare Lepidoptera. This macro site which includes more than 2,000 acres of woodlands, forest and shrub lands is the top-priority conservation site of The Nature Conservancy's New Hampshire Chapter. Ecological studies of the Ossipee Pine Barrens to date have focused on plants and Lepidoptera species found within the Ossipee Pine Barrens and the historical and natural processes that influence the community. Relatively little attention has been given to the bird species. While bird diversity and species richness in the Ossipee Pine Barrens is believed to resemble that of other northeast pine barrens, evidence suggests these lands support several rare and declining bird species. Information regarding bird species breeding status and habitat selection within the Ossipee Pine Barrens will contribute to the biological knowledge of the site and assist in the perseveration and management of the pine barrens. Specifically, the goal of this study is to determine species richness, abundance, and habitat selection of the avifauna of the Ossipee Pine Barrens.