- 50-100 ft
Residential land use is also significant in the areas surrounding and within the Swamp.
- Listed on more than one “valuable wetland” list by natural resource agencies or nongovernment organizations.
- Protects biological diverse wetland flora, fauna and/or their habitat
- Supports significant numbers of wetland-dependent fauna, such as water birds or fish
Quakertown Swamp is a large natural wetland, unique to upper Bucks County identified as one of the most significant natural resources in the County. According to the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI), it is one of the largest intact, inland wetlands in southeastern Pennsylvania and is exceptional for its broadleaf deciduous shrubs and excellent bird habitat. The entire Quakertown Swamp wetland community is imperiled in the state because of rarity. The Pennsylvania Game Commission recognizes this extensive swamp as significant habitat for nesting and migrating waterfowl. Quakertown Swamp is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an important wetland area in Pennsylvania. The Bucks County Planning Commission named Quakertown Swamp as a significant natural area in its natural resources plans (1986 and 1999) and in its Natural Areas Inventory (1999).
A nationwide cooperative conservation program led by the National Audubon Society designated the swamp as a Pennsylvania Important Bird Area. The swamp is the only known nesting area of the Sora Rail and Marsh Wren in the region, two Species of Special Concern in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Census in 1985 identified 74 species nesting in this natural area. The largest Great Blue Heron rookery in eastern Pennsylvania is found here and the Least Bittern and American Bittern, both threatened in Pennsylvania, are seen in the swamp during migration.
(Heritage Conservancy, 2000)
- Recreation (birdwatching, ecotourism)
- Aquifer recharge
- Storm abatement
- Flood storage/mitigation
- Water quality improvement
- Inland Deep Fresh Marsh
- Inland Fresh Shrub Swamp
- Inland Fresh Wooded Swamp
Quakertown Swamp is located on an ancient formation created by igneous diabase intrusions into older sedimentary shales (Heritage Conservancy, 2000).
Soils derived from diabase are of the Towhee – Neshaminy – Mount Lucas association (USDA, 1975). The soils of the swamp are primarily Hatboro silt loam, a floodplain soil formed from alluvium washed from the surrounding uplands (Heritage Conservancy, 2000).