NATURAL HISTORY OF NEW YORK
Natural History of New York
New York State covers an area of 54,077 square miles (141,229 square km), 87% of which is land. Inland lakes and rivers cover 1,894 square miles (4,908 sq. km) and the State has jurisdiction over 981 sq. miles (2,541 sq. km) of the Atlantic Ocean as well as 3,988 square miles (10,329 sq. km) of the Great Lakes.
New York State lies in the humid temperate region of the northeastern United States. Average January temperatures range from 15.8 to 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit and 66.2 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit in July. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year and most parts of the State receive about 40 inches annually. ...view middle of the document...
The Erie-Ontario Lowland has a range of features including wetlands, lakes, beaches and the drumlin belt between Rochester and Syracuse. Two terminal moraines of the great ice sheet are found on Long Island and Staten Island in the Atlantic Coastal Lowland. New York’s landscape is dominated by several unique features. The 6 million-acre Adirondack Park, in northernmost New York, was established in 1892 and is a patchwork of public and private lands. Within the “Blue Line”, the park boundary, there are campgrounds, hiking trails and opportunities for water sports. The Park has a diversity of wildlife which uses the streams, glacial ponds, acid bogs, marshes, and evergreen and hardwood forests. There are 2,800 lakes and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams that support the abundance of aquatic life in the Park. The area also provides habitat for mammals and hundreds of birds. For hundreds of years, wildlife and people have coexisted in this unique region. Another of New York’s mountainous regions is the Catskills. The Catskill Forest Preserve, established in 1885, has thousands of acres of forests, meadows, lakes and rivers, old farmsteads and abundant wildlife. The wetlands and intact forest of the Catskills protect the Delaware watershed, which serves as a source of drinking water for New York City. Native fish, amphibians and reptiles are
Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy for New York
NATURAL HISTORY OF NEW YORK
abundant in the forest preserve. The deciduous forests provide homes for the State-threatened timber rattlesnake and other species. The Finger Lakes region is located in central western New York. There are eleven major lakes in the region but only seven are considered Finger Lakes. Believed to be pre-glacial stream valleys these lakes are some of the most picturesque in the State. They provide ample opportunity for water sports and water for cities around them. The Finger Lakes National Forest, located in western New York is the only national forest in the state and the smallest in the nation. Black bears, river otters, woodland salamanders and bald eagles are characteristic of the Finger Lakes and rare species like the northern coal skink can also be found there. The Great Northern Forest, which covers 26 million acres in the northeastern U.S., is the largest contiguous block of forest land remaining in the United States. Though most of the land is privately owned (80%), many species thrive there. Moose, marten, beaver and hundreds of bird species use the habitats in and within aspen, oak, sugar maple, white pine and beech. There are 60, 000 miles of lakes and rivers in the region which makes for excellent water sports and recreation in the winter. It is difficult to think of New York and not think of the Hudson River. It is one of the most important commercial waterways in the country and a great environmental success story. The river, which runs the length of most of eastern New York, provides transportation,...