Rare Species in the Saugatuck Dunes 2018-07-05T19:17:47+00:00

Rare Species of the Saugatuck Dunes

Rare Birds

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) (US-Threatened, MI-Threatened)
Bald Eagles forage from trees overlooking the marshes along the Oxbow Lagoon and the Kalamazoo River. Bald eagles have nested successfully in recent years upstream in the Allegan State Game Area. As the population expands in Allegan County, the NorthShore property and nearby natural areas could be viable nesting habitat. Currently, eagles visit the site to hunt and rest and were seen on the property in 2002 hunting along the north end of the Oxbow Lagoon.

Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor) (MI-Endangered)
A local breeding population nests annually on the NorthShore property in stands of Jack Pines and has also been documented using the Deam and Oval Beach properties.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) (MI-Threatened)
This raptor is known to forage on the NorthShore property during migrations.

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) (MI-Special Concern)
This raptor is also known to annually forage on the NorthShore property.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) (MI-Threatened)
This Threatened species is known to forage on the NorthShore property; it has been seen in the past two years (2001 and 2002) on the property during migrations.

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) (MI-Special Concern)
This small and graceful tern forages on the NorthShore property and over the marshes along the oxbow. A population nests in the marshes farther upstream along the Kalamazoo River (one of only a few populations in Michigan).

Rare Fish

Creek Chubsucker (Erimyzon oblongus) (MI-Endangered)
A rare fish known from the lower Kalamazoo River.

Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) (MI-Threatened)
A rare fish known historically from the lower Kalamazoo River.

Black Buffalo (Ictiobus niger) (MI-Special Concern)
A rare fish also known from the lower Kalamazoo River.

pitcher thistle

Pitcher Thistle

Rare Plants

Zigzag Bladderwort (Utricularia subulata) (MI-Threatened)
The NorthShore population of this wetland wildflower species is one of only three in Michigan.

Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) (MI-Special Concern)
A local population of this native Hibiscus is the only one currently known from the lower Kalamazoo River. It was discovered and documented in 2002 in the marshes south of the river along the oxbow lagoon.

Meadow-beauty (Rhexia virginica) (MI-Special Concern)
A rare wildflower known historically from the marshes on the south half of the NorthShore property.

Trailing Wild Bean (Strophostyles helvula) (MI-Special Concern)
This native Michigan wildflower was discovered and documented in 2002 along the shores of the Oxbow Lagoon.

Pitcher’s Thistle (Cirsium pitcheri) (US-Threatened, MI-Threatened)
A known population exists in the open dunes of the north half of the NorthShore property and the adjacent State Park and Starring tract. Pitcher’s Thistle also occurs in the dunes at Oval Beach adjacent to the south side of the NorthShore property.

Rare Reptiles and Amphibians

Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) (MI-Threatened)
This native turtle (in decline in Michigan) was reported in the oxbow lagoon in 2002, but not yet confirmed; appropriate habitat.

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) (MI-Special Concern)
This species is known to occur in the uplands of adjacent parklands both north and south of the Kalamazoo River, including Tallmadge Woods, Mt. Baldhead woods and Saugatuck Dunes State Park. The lack of roads nearby is beneficial.

Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi) (MI-Special Concern)
A known breeding population of this rare amphibian occurs on the NorthShore property south of the Kalamazoo River; reconfirmed in 2001 and 2002, this species uses the interdunal wetpannes, and the marshes and shoreline of the oxbow lake. The isolated and undeveloped nature of the property is important and beneficial for this rare species.