Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Much of the land comprising the Sussex Swamp Preserve was once used as farmland. Today, the preserve represents one of New Jersey's best and largest limestone fens, and is home to a healthy population of Schweitzer's buckmoth. The preserve is one of only six sites where this buckmoth is known to exist. By protecting the integrity of the preserve's limestone fens, sinkholes, and the hydrologic processes that maintain them, it will allow for the protection of viable populations of rare elements, plants, lepidoptera, and amphibians.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
Several factors threaten the health of the fen and the rare plants and animals that inhabit the preserve. The butterfly and moth populations are most threatened by collection. The sinkhole ponds used by longtail salamanders are affected by runoff from an adjacent development that drains directly into the pond. Collecting by neighborhood children may also prove a threat for the salamander. The surrounding deciduous forest matrix is greatly threatened by invasive weedy species. Off-road vehicles continue to be a problem at the site.
To preserve the integrity of the Sussex Swamp area, scientists and land stewards constantly monitor the fen and take actions as necessary, to ensure its health is suitable to support native plant and animal inhabitants. Scientists also conduct biological monitoring of the Schweitzer's buckmoth, including counting the larvae and getting a general idea on the health of the population.
The preserve is currently closed to the public.