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-   -   Most wildlife-abundant area of the ADKs (http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=21096)

Boreal Fox 01-16-2015 10:06 AM

Most wildlife-abundant area of the ADKs
 
From your experience what's the most wildlife-abundant area of the Adirondacks? I would assume the more remote the more abundant the wildlife. While in no way having had explored most of the ADKs I've found Five Ponds Wilderness in early summer to have a tremendous amount, which was something very inspiring, especially seeing things I never knew existed before like the woodcock (a rather peculiar but fascinating animal I must say).

DSettahr 01-16-2015 10:34 AM

I've generally found the opposite- the less remote, the more abundant the wildlife. Or at the very least, it seems that way. I've seen more wildlife up close in urban parks than I ever have in any Wilderness Area. Areas that are less remote get more use, meaning that the wildlife is more adapted to human presence and less likely to flee at the sign of a human.

Holdstrong 01-16-2015 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSettahr (Post 226474)
I've generally found the opposite- the less remote, the more abundant the wildlife. Or at the very least, it seems that way. I've seen more wildlife up close in urban parks than I ever have in any Wilderness Area. Areas that are less remote get more use, meaning that the wildlife is more adapted to human presence and less likely to flee at the sign of a human.

This has been my experience too.

Whenever friends and family come to visit us they always comment on how little wildlife they see here. The perception is that they are coming to a really wild, wooded place and the expectation is that they will experience lots of wildlife. But the comment I ALWAYS hear, whether sitting on my deck or hiking up to a peak, goes something like, "Ya know, we see more wildlife in the park down the road from our house than we do when we visit you"

My usual response goes something like, "There is enough land here for the animals to avoid us if they want" - but I have no idea if there is any validity to that.

Gman 01-16-2015 03:37 PM

Depends upon what you want to see and what time of year. All creatures have favored habitat. If its a bear, moose, lynx or any other reclusive species you would have a better chance to see them in fairly remote forest. However large forested tracts just don't support a lot of wildlife.

The best places to see most wildlife is abandoned farm land with a mix of woodlots, old orchards and fields. Lot's of turkey, deer, fox, hawks, coyotes. One of the best places to spot coyotes is a frozen swamp. A sheltered thick stand of cedars in winter usually has plenty of deer.

The northwest boundary of the Park is a great place to see wildlife. Much of it low and wet with lots of abandoned homesteads. That part of the Park doesn't get much attention.

Limekiln 01-16-2015 05:47 PM

Downtown Old Forge.

adk 01-16-2015 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Holdstrong (Post 226484)
This has been my experience too.

Whenever friends and family come to visit us they always comment on how little wildlife they see here. The perception is that they are coming to a really wild, wooded place and the expectation is that they will experience lots of wildlife. But the comment I ALWAYS hear, whether sitting on my deck or hiking up to a peak, goes something like, "Ya know, we see more wildlife in the park down the road from our house than we do when we visit you"

My usual response goes something like, "There is enough land here for the animals to avoid us if they want" - but I have no idea if there is any validity to that.



I would completely agree with the statements made by visitors, as I hear them all the time. Further more I agree that ecologically the park has suffered from a host of reasons which cause a decline. (All or most species are here, but lacking per mile etc) In fact we have had several long discussions on this very forum about the same subject with lots of very spirited opinions but truth be told peoples perception, and actual species numbers both agree we do in fact have a problem. Any trip to the surrounding states and its clear that the overall abundance of wildlife is greater elsewhere. I often hear opinions /theories but I dont agree with most. Algonquin Park in Ontario, Baxter Park in Maine and surrounding areas, PA, white Mountains and so on all have something in common which is that while camping, driving , hiking etc you'll see orders of magnitude more overall wildlife including and in fact "especially" in the backcountry. In the adirondacks I have had trail cams for years in several locations (I dont hunt rather I simply appreciate studying local biodiversity) and sooner or later I see most species in front of the cameras or while hiking,paddling and such. But in a checkerboard park, surrounding like an island by to cities, highways etc and huge sport hunting and logging have taken their toll. For whatever reason people often argue that however its insanity to think we dont have a measurable impact. I know for example those working for the logging industry will soon turn this statement into a long winded bla bla post but what I would truly love to see happen, is a solid study comparing the species per mile to other parks and I suspect you would see that we take too much offer too little and change too late. On the lighter side there are some great folks working to help change that. I just wish there were more of those types making decisions to stop construction in the park.

rADK 01-18-2015 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limekiln (Post 226493)
Downtown Old Forge.

HA. Yep... watch the deer graze on the lawn of the Town of Webb school while traffic and tourists stream by in the street. Bizarre.

Wldrns 01-18-2015 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rADK (Post 226538)
HA. Yep... watch the deer graze on the lawn of the Town of Webb school while traffic and tourists stream by in the street. Bizarre.

For a long time I have been pretty sure that the Old Forge Chamber of Commerce has the deer on the village payroll, to wander the streets for the tourists. It's the local rent-a-deer program. :rolleyes:

ScAtTeRbOnE 01-18-2015 08:55 PM

Most animal encounters I've heard about or experienced in the Adirondacks don't seem to correlate to a location or type of location. I've found it fairly true about the reduced likelihood of encountering wildlife (esp. larger animals) in the Adirondack Park. Whether it's a lower density, larger area, more reclusive and wary animals I couldn't say. I know there's nothing but moose sign everywhere in the Green Mtns of VT, Bear sign all over the Taconic Mtns and Catskills, a veritable petting zoo in north-central PA and Shenandoah National Park, VA, and black bears like ants in the Great Smoky Mtns. All this to say that although I've spent a good portion of time in the Adirondacks, most of my sightings of wildlife (esp. larger animals) have been elsewhere. I know in NH they have moose watching excursions, I don't think they've had anything like that in the Adirondacks since the infamous "bear dumps". Most animals I've seen in a day was probably one of the many city zoo's I've visited.:rolleyes:

Boreal Fox 01-19-2015 12:49 PM

I'd say because of habitat fragmentation and lack of food in the ADKs there's less wildlife but in areas where the fragmentation isn't as severe, like in the western ADKs, I feel like I've seen more wildlife. Out there this year alone I've seen a bald eagle, bears, snakes, loons, turtles, grouse, woodcock, toads, beaver, owls, ravens, and heard coyotes at night (no deer, to my surprise). Quite a bit of wildlife..definitely more than I was expecting! Maybe I just got lucky...I tend to go off the beaten path.

rADK 01-20-2015 07:01 PM

I think the abundance of wildlife is going to depend primarily on the abundance of specific resources required for those species in the area, not remoteness per se. Certain animals really depend on remoteness because very subtle human activity can interfere with them, loons for example don't like boat traffic and need large bodies of water to take off from, so unlike geese and ducks no small public ponds or cottage-lined lakes for them. Deer on the other hand are not very abundant even in the most remote areas of the Western High Peaks just because there isn't much to eat but they are all over the place near suburban/farming areas with more food and cover available. Overall it really depends on your definition of "wildlife" and the species of animals in question, but I think if you head to remote places and expect some sort of animal kingdom with lions and bears you will be disappointed. Human activity doesn't affect all wildlife equally.

Justin 01-20-2015 08:59 PM

I for one have seen more diverse wildlife and their signs in more remote areas than I have in less remote areas. Most notably in the southern regions of the Adks. For instance, I have been lucky enough to have seen bobcat, fisher, marten, otters, foxes, beavers, porcupines, loons, bald eagles, osprey, owls, snakes, rare insects, coyotes, coyote kills, etc in the backcountry, while also observing many signs of black bear and moose, both of which I unfortunately have yet to physically lay eyes upon in the wild.
Deer, turkey, hawks, herons, squirrels, and other commonly seen wildlife from the road is also often seen in the backcountry, but some things you may have a better chance of seeing if you actually venture deeper into the forest. Of course, some folks just plain out seem to be more lucky than others.

cityboy 01-21-2015 05:34 AM

I'm continually amazed at the lack of wildlife sounds when sitting on my porch 1.5 miles back in the Adirondacks. Very quiet. Hardly any bird sounds either. In contrast to my Southern tier property its devoid of life. Not complaining though.

When traveling towards Long Lake the animals seem to prefer the roads. Turkey's especially.

TCD 01-21-2015 09:18 AM

Someone said above that different animals are affected differently. Some critters (deer, turkey, etc.) like the "edge" habitat (old fields, orchards next to forest; birdfeeders!). Others that prefer a large territory and are shy of people will be in more "remote" areas.

I think the folks that see the most wildlife are the ones who go out with that as the objective. Reading some photography threads, it seems like to get the views and good pix, you have to go into the habitat and then just hang out quietly and patiently wait. So if you are "hiking to a destination" you are not going to see as much wildlife as someone who is sitting still just waiting to see it.

Neil 01-21-2015 12:16 PM

When bushwhacking in the High Peaks region I usually see wheelbarrow loads of deer scat until I get higher up into the spruce-fir forest type.

On one bushwhack around the south side of Allen I saw tremendous amounts of moose scat and there were many, many game trails going every which way.

There are often deer to be seen along the AMR road.

No shortage of chickadees anywhere!

Boreal Fox 01-21-2015 01:00 PM

Amazing photos Justin! Do you always carry a camera and have it readily available to take such great moments? I'm thinking I should do that more often to relive those experiences.

yellowcanoe 01-21-2015 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cityboy (Post 226602)
I'm continually amazed at the lack of wildlife sounds when sitting on my porch 1.5 miles back in the Adirondacks. Very quiet. Hardly any bird sounds either. In contrast to my Southern tier property its devoid of life. Not complaining though.

When traveling towards Long Lake the animals seem to prefer the roads. Turkey's especially.

Do you have a wildlife cam at your ADK property? I am surprised that you have no chickadees which can cause a huge commotion.

I suppose its all about the ecosystem. Mixed hardwoods and fir seem to have the most variety of animals.

As far as the camera, photographers I know always have a camera with them It matters not what the camera is, it just has to be available now

cityboy 01-21-2015 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yellowcanoe (Post 226615)
Do you have a wildlife cam at your ADK property? I am surprised that you have no chickadees which can cause a huge commotion.

I suppose its all about the ecosystem. Mixed hardwoods and fir seem to have the most variety of animals.

As far as the camera, photographers I know always have a camera with them It matters not what the camera is, it just has to be available now

Yes I do. I get more pictures of Moose and Bears then Deer. Occasionally I get a rabbit. I was shocked this summer to have a flock of Turkey walk by me when I was out in a lawn chair! Very rare to see them that far back.

I actually wondered if I'm in a dead spot. Usually from 2 pm I'm on my porch or in lawn chair and usually am out past dark. Most times very silent, just rustling leaves. The lack of bird sounds is very noticeable in comparison with my Southern Tier property.

I see plenty of wildlife just not at my Camp. Always closer to the hard road.

poconoron 02-07-2015 12:11 PM

At my place in the southern ADKs, I regularly see (or get on my trail cam) turkey, deer, bear, fisher, porcupine, red and gray fox, etc. No moose yet, although I've seen tracks on several occasions.

In comparing the ADKs in general with other areas in terms of wildlife sightings, keep in mind the following:

The ADKs are not a National Park where wildlife is protected from hunting and becomes more oblivious to human presence.. Therefore any comparisons with Great Smokey Mts NP, Shenandoah NP, Yellowstone NP, etc. are not comparing apples to apples so to speak.

The ADKs in general have far fewer roads than almost every other eastern wild area whether it be Green Mts., White Mts., Pennsylvania, and southern Appalachian areas. There is just more space for wildlife to seclude themselves from human presence. I see far more bears, deer, turkeys in fragmented wild areas of Pa. than the ADKs.

As the moose population continues to hopefully rise, we will be spotting more moose like they do in New England areas.

Areas such as Maine where widespread logging occurs, have seen the benefits of a wildlife explosion for species like moose, snowshoe hare, lynx, etc. which actually benefit from the new browse being created. As we know, the ADK's nearly 3 million acres of state land prohibit logging and this is having it's effect on certain species.

DSettahr 02-07-2015 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by poconoron (Post 227238)
Areas such as Maine where widespread logging occurs, have seen the benefits of a wildlife explosion for species like moose, snowshoe hare, lynx, etc. which actually benefit from the new browse being created. As we know, the ADK's nearly 3 million acres of state land prohibit logging and this is having it's effect on certain species.

Definitely true, but landscape-scale disturbance events, such as the microburst in the Five Ponds, can have a similar effect on forest preserve land as timber harvesting, at least in regards to introducing a lot of young browse and forage which in turn leads to an increase in the local fauna.

Over the past 2 decades, the Five Ponds Wilderness has very closely approximated the post-harvest conditions of a clearcut (the type of timber harvest that can often be most beneficial to wildlife species dependent on young forests for browse and cover).

Also, there are areas of the Adirondacks where timber harvesting regularly occurs- just not on Forest Preserve lands. Much of this land is becoming available to the public for recreation through the conservation easements. So one interesting in viewing fauna such as deer, hares, etc., would certainly be well advised to try visiting such an easement.

poconoron 02-07-2015 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSettahr (Post 227246)

Also, there are areas of the Adirondacks where timber harvesting regularly occurs- just not on Forest Preserve lands. Much of this land is becoming available to the public for recreation through the conservation easements. So one interesting in viewing fauna such as deer, hares, etc., would certainly be well advised to try visiting such an easement.

Good point on the easement lands. I have spent a bit of time in the easement lands around Speculator and plan on visiting others as well.

Gman 02-08-2015 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSettahr (Post 227246)
Definitely true, but landscape-scale disturbance events, such as the microburst in the Five Ponds, can have a similar effect on forest preserve land as timber harvesting, at least in regards to introducing a lot of young browse and forage which in turn leads to an increase in the local fauna.

Over the past 2 decades, the Five Ponds Wilderness has very closely approximated the post-harvest conditions of a clearcut (the type of timber harvest that can often be most beneficial to wildlife species dependent on young forests for browse and cover).

Also, there are areas of the Adirondacks where timber harvesting regularly occurs- just not on Forest Preserve lands. Much of this land is becoming available to the public for recreation through the conservation easements. So one interesting in viewing fauna such as deer, hares, etc., would certainly be well advised to try visiting such an easement.

As I read your post it brought to mind going into the Santa Clara Tract just after the State bought it. Previously I believe it was owned by Champion who harvested timber off it. There was an incredible amount of wildlife in there at that time.

EagleCrag 02-15-2015 11:57 AM

We no longer allow fires to burn in the backwoods either, or at least attempt to snuff them out as soon as they get started. Before settlers came to the Adirondacks, I believe forest fires provided much habitat diversity and undergrowth beneficial to wildlife. Logging does much the same but the forever wild aspect of the park means a more mature forest and less wildlife methinks. I read a book (forgot the name) of a market hunter in the Paul Smith's area before it was settled. The tons of venison they brought to market was astounding to me and occurred for a number of years running.

DSettahr 02-15-2015 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EagleCrag (Post 227523)
We no longer allow fires to burn in the backwoods either, or at least attempt to snuff them out as soon as they get started. Before settlers came to the Adirondacks, I believe forest fires provided much habitat diversity and undergrowth beneficial to wildlife. Logging does much the same but the forever wild aspect of the park means a more mature forest and less wildlife methinks. I read a book (forgot the name) of a market hunter in the Paul Smith's area before it was settled. The tons of venison they brought to market was astounding to me and occurred for a number of years running.

While it's true that in some ecosystems, fire plays a regular and healthy role, this really isn't true for most of the Adirondacks. Most of the Adirondack forest is receives too much precipitation, and is generally to wet, for fires to exist as a regular, large-scale disturbance.

I found a map a few years ago that listed the fire regimes of the native ecosystems of the entire US, and it stated that in the Adirondacks, natural fires only occurred on average with a frequency of once every 200+ years. I'll see if I can find it again.

EDIT: Here it is: http://www.fws.gov/invasives/staffTr...up_intro1.html

forest dweller 04-08-2015 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adk (Post 226495)
I would completely agree with the statements made by visitors, as I hear them all the time. Further more I agree that ecologically the park has suffered from a host of reasons which cause a decline. (All or most species are here, but lacking per mile etc) In fact we have had several long discussions on this very forum about the same subject with lots of very spirited opinions but truth be told peoples perception, and actual species numbers both agree we do in fact have a problem. Any trip to the surrounding states and its clear that the overall abundance of wildlife is greater elsewhere. I often hear opinions /theories but I dont agree with most. Algonquin Park in Ontario, Baxter Park in Maine and surrounding areas, PA, white Mountains and so on all have something in common which is that while camping, driving , hiking etc you'll see orders of magnitude more overall wildlife including and in fact "especially" in the backcountry. In the adirondacks I have had trail cams for years in several locations (I dont hunt rather I simply appreciate studying local biodiversity) and sooner or later I see most species in front of the cameras or while hiking,paddling and such. But in a checkerboard park, surrounding like an island by to cities, highways etc and huge sport hunting and logging have taken their toll. For whatever reason people often argue that however its insanity to think we dont have a measurable impact. I know for example those working for the logging industry will soon turn this statement into a long winded bla bla post but what I would truly love to see happen, is a solid study comparing the species per mile to other parks and I suspect you would see that we take too much offer too little and change too late. On the lighter side there are some great folks working to help change that. I just wish there were more of those types making decisions to stop construction in the park.

I have to agree with this. I suggested something along these lines a few years ago in a similar discussion and many people basically told me I was crazy - even some of the mods...

The Adirondacks to me, sadly, seem like wilderness void of wildlife.

I've been in VERY remote areas, I have been VERY quiet, I have been in areas in which I could see for a mile all around - if I scared something you would think I would see it running off in the distance at least.

I don't want to start an argument here but I think we have to start thinking about MANY things in COMPLETELY different ways. Things that people find acceptable need to be REJECTED.

When I open a trapping magazine and some guy from the Adirondacks has 40 red fox pelts hanging and drying or whatever...

I've seen ONE red fox in the Adirondacks in my 25 years of going there.

Why is trapping permitted?

Why is hunting of animals that you cannot eat permitted?

Limekiln 04-09-2015 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by forest dweller (Post 229864)
I don't want to start an argument here but I think we have to start thinking about MANY things in COMPLETELY different ways. Things that people find acceptable need to be REJECTED.

Why is trapping permitted?

Why is hunting of animals that you cannot eat permitted?

LOL at you not wanting to start an argument, then following with statements like that.

As to adk's post about lack of wildlife there are a bunch of reasons that make the Adirondacks tough habitat for wildlife to thrive in. Lack of food is probably the first, caused in part by overmature forests. Say what you want about logging but there is no question that you'll see more wildlife in areas that have been logged. Long cold winters with deep snow and lots of coyotes are other factors that keep deer and small game numbers low.

If humans are to blame for the lack of wildlife in the Adirondacks could someone please explain why NJ, CT, MA, southern NY, and other suburban areas are overrun with deer, bears, and other critters? And hunting isn't the answer as those areas have far more hunting pressure per square mile than the Adirondacks.

poconoron 04-09-2015 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limekiln (Post 229882)
Lack of food is probably the first, caused in part by overmature forests. Say what you want about logging but there is no question that you'll see more wildlife in areas that have been logged.

Bingo..........that's the answer that makes the most sense. Northern Maine has winters just as tough as the ADKs and yet has more wildlife: reason - logging.

Pennsylvania has milder winters but more people per square mile than ADKs and yet has more wildlife. Reason: even on state lands, logging is permitted on a rotating 100 year basis.

Vermont and NH also allow some logging in National Forest areas and have far more moose than ADKs.

Boreal Fox 04-09-2015 03:15 PM

What about the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon where most of the forest has never been touched by logging or are there other factors at play there?

Brookie hunter 04-09-2015 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boreal Fox (Post 229891)
What about the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon where most of the forest has never been touched by logging or are there other factors at play there?

The Amazon is a completely different ecosystem then the Adirondacks. The habitat is almost too diffrent to compare.

forest dweller 04-09-2015 07:28 PM

Sorry, I don't buy the more logging the better theory with regards to wildlife - it implies that wildlife need humans to impact the environment (negatively) for them to thrive. If that is the case how did wildlife do perfectly fine back when humans, native Americans in particular, left the forests pretty much alone?


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