Important Bird and Birding Areas
Franklin Parker Preserve

IBBA Site Guide

Burlington County
Coordinates: N 39.80479
W 74.54841
Pinelands: New England / Mid-Atlantic Coast

Area: 9,400 Acres     

Habitat: Primarily forested wetland with areas of shrub-scrub and mixed upland forest

Site Description: The Franklin Parker Preserve is an important wetland complex located in the center of the Pinelands. It is responsible for filtering rainwater that feeds into the Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer, a valuable underground water resource. The site was purchased in 2003 by New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJCF) and now serves as an essential link between five major state-owned parcels totaling 250,000 acres. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection designated several Natural Heritage Priority Sites in the area, including the Chatsworth Woods Macrosite. These sites are considered some of NJ’s most significant habitats.

IBA Criteria:
Conservation Concern – State-endangered (B)Northern Harrier, Pied-billed Grebe
Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Scrub-shrub/Barrens (B)American Woodcock, Blue-winged Warbler, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Field Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, Pine Warbler, Whip-poor-will
Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Forested Wetland (B)Acadian Flycatcher, American Black Duck, Kentucky Warbler, Mallard, Wood Duck
Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Mixed Upland Forest (B)Acadian Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Common Grackle, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Gray Catbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Kentucky Warbler, Northern Flicker, Scarlet Tanager, Whip-poor-will, Wood Thrush
Significant Congregations
Significant Migrant Stopover/Flyover (SM)Landbirds
Eastern Wood-pewee
Eastern Wood-peweeJim Gilbert
Birds: State-endangered Pied-billed Grebes and Northern Harriers breed at the Franklin Parker preserve. Additional state-listed birds breeding at this site include Barred Owls, American Kestrels and Cooper’s Hawks. This site supports a great abundance and diversity of breeding bird species that are characteristic of scrub-shrub/barrens, forested wetland and mixed upland habitats. This site also supports an excellent diversity of migrant songbirds and has been documented at a stopover for migrant landbirds. Towards summer’s end, the Preserve also hosts an annual gathering of Purple Martins staging just prior to their migration.

Conservation: NJCF has partnered with the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to protect and restore 1100 acres of wetland habitat at the Franklin Parker Preserve. Using funds obtained through the Wetlands Reserve Program, NJCF has begun to restore the natural water flow of the wetlands that had been altered to allow for cranberry bogs. Plans include the removal of dikes and planting of approximately 150 acres of Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides). NJCF also proposes to control illegal off-road vehicle use and poaching by limiting access and by increasing law enforcement.

Additional Information: Site Report
Atlantic white cedar swamp
Atlantic white cedar swampJohn Parke