Wildlife with wings is a characteristic feature of the 3,745-acre Wildcat Ridge WMA.Â At the southern end, the abandoned and barricaded Hibernia Mine is New Jersey's largest known bat hibernaculum, home to an estimated 26,000 little brown bats.
The area is also an official Hawk Migration Association of North America "hawkwatch" site. The Hawk Watch Overlook observation platform is at the end of the Flyway Spur Trail [orange; 0.9 mile]. This is a great place to see migrating hawks in the spring and fall as they ride the thermals along the ridge top.Â Volunteers have counted as many as 18,000 raptors during the fall, and 3,000 in the spring.Â As NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife writes about the area: "Even when the hawks are not soaring the view provides an otherwise hard to obtain understanding of the vastness of the Highlands forest resource and its value to hundreds of species, including humans, in northern New Jersey"
In early 2015 the NJ Department of Environmental Protection's Green Acres Program announced the purchase of 1,500 acres of pristine watershed buffer land from Jersey City, providing permanent protection to land that surrounds the city's Split Rock Reservoir located primarily in Morris County's Rockaway Township
The preserved tract is a greenway connector, linking the state's Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area, Farny State Park, and Buck Mountain. The land is primarily forested, with hiking trails and fishing access, and includes a wide range of plant and animal species -including threatened and endangered species.
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