Fish Pine Barrens streams are a good habitat for a very limited range of fish species. Most fish cannot reproduce in the Pine Barrens’ naturally acidic waters, because the acidity interferes with the development of their eggs. Species found in the Pine Barrens are banded sunfish, blackbanded sunfish, pirate perch, mud sunfish, swamp darter and yellow bullhead. Species found in the Pine Barrens and elsewhere in New Jersey are American eel, bluespotted sunfish, eastern mudminnow, redfin pickerel, chain pickerel, creek chubsucker and tadpole madtom. John McPhee dared to explore and document this mystical wonderland in his 1978 nonfiction book, The Pine Barrens. McPhee moved cautiously within the notoriously difficult paths and sugar sand roads to get to the heart of the land and the people, “The Pineys,” as they are known, and he found a subculture of misunderstood conservationists who are interested in living off the land in peace. McPhee took the mystery out of the Pine Barrens and created a movement toward education and preservation and the ethereal and desolate area the area has become a destination to explore, camp, fish, hunt and relax. Once you enter into its encompassing forest, it is easy to forget that you are mere miles from the Garden State Parkway and the high energy of the Jersey Shore. www.sparkexploreocean.com 19 Mammals Mammals in the Pine Barrens include white-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, beavers and river otters. Red and gray foxes, minks, long-tailed weasels, southern bog lemmings, eight species of bats, as well as raccoons, muskrats, various squirrels, chipmunks, voles and mice find their home in the barrens as well. Photo by J. Vigg Birds The forests and swamps of the Pine Barrens provide a nesting habitat for approximately 144 species of birds, including wood warblers and other songbirds. The Pine Barrens is an important area for breeding, feeding, nesting and resting for a broad variety of waterfowl, such as ducks and geese, and magnificent raptors, such as the bald eagle, redshouldered hawk and osprey. Amphibians The Pine Barrens is the global stronghold for the Pine Barrens tree frog, which uses ponds for breeding. Residential development and farming often result in changes to the chemistry of the breeding habitats of these animals and an influx of non-native species that can displace them. The presence of carpenter frogs, another characteristic Pine Barrens species, indicates a healthy aquatic wildlife community. Some of the other more visible and well-known frog species of the Pine Barrens are the green frog and the southern leopard frog. Reptiles The timber rattlesnake is the only venomous species in the Pinelands. The northern pine snake can be found in pocket populations within the area. Similarly, the Pinelands hosts the northernmost population of the corn snake. The most common snake of the Pinelands may be the northern water snake as well as the most famous Pine Barren snake, the puff adder, which often spreads its neck, cobra-like, when alarmed.
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