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Pine Barrens and Streams

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                                                Jennifer L. Kelly

                                                      Bio 280

                                                Due October 19, 2015

                                                                                        Acting Locally

        I chose to write about the Pine Barrens and the Pine Barren Streams. I chose the Pine Barrens because I live in New Jersey and I love this state. The Pine Barrens are beautiful and precious. They need to be preserved.

        The Pine Barrens are located in my home state of New Jersey.  They are a forest with many trees; spanning over seven counties in southern New Jersey. Pine Barrens means the sandy acidic soil that is lacking in nutrients. There are many types of plants. There are orchids and carnivorous plants. The Pine Barrens water is some of the purest water in the United States. In colonial times many companies were located in the Pine Barrens. There were grist mills, saw mills, and paper mills.  One reason the Pine Barrens have remained untouched is due to the fact that the soil is too sandy to grow most crops.  The Pine Barrens consists of 1,100,000 acres of land. It takes up 22% of the land in New Jersey.  The Bald Eagle- The bald eagle is on the endangered species list. They build large nests. The feed on mostly fish. Bald eagles are not really bald. Their name comes from the older meaning of “white headed”. The adult is brown with a white head and tail. The female is 25% larger than the male. Their tail is fairly long on the male. Their feet, eyes and their beak are yellow. Their legs are free of feathers. The bald eagle does rid the earth of rodents. The bald eagle is 28-40 inches long. Their wingspan is 5.9-7.5 feet. They weigh 6.6-13.9 lbs. Short eared owl- They have ears that look like mammals ears. They will show their ears when they feel threatened. They are of a medium build; measuring 13-17 inches in length. Their wingspan is 33-43 inches. They weigh 7.3-16.8 ounces. They have short necks, a big head, broad wings and large eyes. The bald eagles’ bill is short, hooked, strong and black. Their wings are irregular. They fly awkward. The female is a little bit bigger than the male. They hunt mostly at night. They fly a few feet above the ground, so as to, catch their prey. They eat rodents, mice, squirrels, shrews, rats, bats, moles and muskrats. They occasionally eat birds. They are a threatened species on the endangered species list. Tree Frog- It is becoming a rare species due to its loss of habitat. They are only 1-3 inches long. They are one of smallest frogs. They are mostly green, with dark stripes that are   wide. They have orange-gold spotted markings hidden on their legs. They have large toe pads.

        New Jersey Rush- New Jersey Rush are thought to be grass. They are actually tiny flowers. They           have three sepals and three petals. The fruit is a capsule. The New Jersey Rush is a rare plant. This plant is very vulnerable. It is a perennial plant.

I also chose the Pine Barren Streams. The Pine Barrens and the Pine Barren Streams coincide. They need each other. They are both breathtaking. The species of both ecosystems can live together in harmony. The water from the stream helps keep the forest flourishing. The stream is tea colored. The water is that color because it contains a high level of iron. Vegetable dyes also color the water. The potential hydrogen level is 5.0 or less. Fish are not able to reproduce in the Pine Barrens Streams. It has a natural acid. The acid interferes with the growth of the eggs of the fish. The streams have a low level of algae and aquatic vegetation.  Black Banded Sunfish-There are three species of this fish. They are very small. The biggest they get are 10 cm. They live for 3-4 years. They have a deep body. Their mouths are small. They have a big lower jaw, it turns upward. Their dorsal fin stands up with ten spines. They have black spots on their gills. They are carnivorous. They eat insects. They are a peaceful fish. The Black Banded Fish is on the critically threatened species list.  American Eel-The American Eel has a body that is covered with mucous. It has a slender body. It has a thin fin. They have gills. They are either brown, olive green or green-yellow and light grey. They can reach four feet in length. Their weight can be up to 17 pounds. The female is longer. In the winter the live in the mud. Small eels are able to climb. Their eggs hatch after a week. It is thought that adult eels die after spawning. The eel is nocturnal. They count on their sense of smell to find food. The American Eel is dying off to contamination.  Cheek Chub sucker- The Cheek Chub Sucker is a small fish. They are around 250 mm long. They weigh a little over one milligram. They are bottom feeders. The Creek Chub Suckers are not usually caught by commercial fishermen. Female Creek Chub Suckers live 6-7 years. The male only live for 5 years. Yellow Fringed Orchid – The Yellow Fringed Orchid was used for medicinal purposes by Native American tribes. Their roots were used to help treat diarrhea. The roots were also given to someone who was bitten by a snake. It was served cold as a loose pack to help with headaches. It was also used in fishing.  A piece of the flower was put on a fishing hook to make the fish bite better. This plant is considered threatened; due to loss of their habitat and fires. It grows from 30 cm-1m tall. The roots are fleshy. They have many leaves. This flower is bright yellow or dark orange. They can be in the sun or have some shade.



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