Troy Meadows Habitat
Troy Meadows is a large, diverse freshwater marsh with a complex mosaic of marshland plant communities and wildlife habitats. It was once a vast plain of cattail, including marsh, swamp and floodplain communities. It serves as a valuable wildlife habitat for a variety of birds, butterflies, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and ordinary, threatened and endangered species of fauna and flora.
Until recently (within the past 40 years) this National Natural Landmark was the largest remaining cattail marsh in New Jersey. Some parts of Troy Meadows have progressed to swamp forest through the process of succession and the cattail communities of Troy Meadows, Black Meadows, and Hatfield Swamp are being filled by silt and replaced by an invasive species of reed grass, Phragmites communis.
Troy Meadows is located along the Atlantic flyway and serves as a staging area for migratory waterfowl. It is an exceptional sanctuary for numerous breeding species of birds and for large concentrations of migratory waterfowl. Interesting vegetation at this site includes large stands of native wild rice, spotted touch-me-not, false nettle, tuckahoe, duckweed, and various sedges. Noteworthy birds include many species of rail, bittern, heron, duck, and hawk. A great blue heron rookery can be seen in Troy Meadows; American bald eagles also nest in Troy Meadows (feeding in Troy Brook, Troy Forge Pond and the Jersey City reservoir).
Troy Meadows is known as the state's premier habitat for the endangered blue-spotted salamander. Its abundant vernal pools serve as breeding sites for the endangered amphibian. Troy Meadows is also one of the few places in New Jersey where bog turtles can be found. Bog turtles have probably never been abundant because of their unusual requirement of swampy or boggy land combined with a slow-moving stream passing through.