Important Bird Areas
The National Audubon Society has designated four Important Bird Areas (IBAs) within the watershed: Cussewago Bottom, spanning the area from Meadville to the headwaters of the stream, the Erie National Wildlife Refuge, located in Crawford County south of Cambridge Springs, the Hemlock Hill Research Area, adjacent to the ENWR, and Conneaut (Geneva) Marsh.
These areas are sites of special significance that can be distinguished from surrounding areas, and are specifically managed for the benefit of birds or other wildlife. The watershed’s IBAs encompass high-quality wetlands, bottomland, mixed hardwood forests and open field habitats supporting more than two hundred species of songbirds, shorebirds, migratory waterfowl and raptors. State endangered species living and nesting in the IBAs include Black Bitterns (Ixobruchus dubius), American Bitterns (Botaurus lentiginosus), and Least Bitterns (Ixobruchus exilis), as well as Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).