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FWCB Newsletter, March 2015 – New Species of Fungus Discovered at Bull Neck Swamp Forest

Bull Neck Swamp Forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of undeveloped private waterfront property on North Carolina’s Albemarle Sound. It covers 6,158 acres, including more than seven miles of rare, undisturbed shoreline and 2,317 acres of preserve. The preserves include 1,118 acres of Shoreline and Islands Preserve, 777 acres of Non-riverine Swamp Forest Preserve, 237 acres of Pond Pine Preserve, and 185 acres of Atlantic white-cedar Preserve. Bull Neck provides vital habitat for many wildlife species.

North Carolina State University’s Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources acquired the tract in early 1996 through a series of grants from the Natural Heritage Trust Fund. The site is located on the Albermarle Sound in Washington County, N.C., approximately 18 miles east of Plymouth. Historically, the site was owned by numerous logging companies and logged extensively for Atlantic white-cedar. A large portion of management effort has gone towards re-establishing Atlantic white-cedar on the property.

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The Bull Neck Swamp tract consists of five community types including nonriverine swamp forest, peatland Atlantic white cedar, mesic mixed hardwood forest, tidal cypress gum swamp, and tidal freshwater marsh. The diversity and uniqueness of the tract makes it an ideal wetland research site and allows for various forestry and wildlife management options. Numerous species occur at Bull Neck Swamp including black bear (Ursus americanus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), Northern river otter (Lontra canadensis), bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Eastern king snake(Lampropeltis g. getula), red-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erthrogaster), and others.

See the Bull Neck Swamp Species List Photo Gallery for examples of the species investigated within the research area. To request permission to use photos from the gallery, or to request permission to conduct research at Bull Neck Swamp, please contact Dr. Christopher DePerno.

The Bull Neck Swamp Forest currently generates revenue for the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources and the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program through hunting leases and timber sales. The revenue is applied towards funding graduate student research and an undergraduate Bull Neck Swamp Scholarship.

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Research

Currently, research conducted on Bull Neck Swamp Forest is supported through the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, under the direction of Dr. Christopher DePerno.

There is much to learn about the ecology of the tract, and we encourage research from all facets of the University, whether it be internal or include collaboration from government agencies. Potential fields of study include hydrology, forestry, recreation and tourism, entomology, agriculture, and more.

User Fees 

If you are interested in conducting research at Bull Neck Swamp, please contact Dr. DePerno with a proposal. User fees may apply.

Roads

Road maintenance is the primary expense at Bull Neck Swamp Forest. To account for additional road impact and minimize use of large vehicles on the roads, we ask for a road user fee to be included in all proposals. This fee is decided separately for each project and is based on the type of vehicle being used, miles of roads used for the project, and number of days used per year.

Accommodations

Currently, we have a field house located in Plymouth, NC, which is approximately 25 minutes from the Bull Neck Swamp Forest. The house has wireless internet service, is fully furnished, and can accommodate up to 8 research students and field technicians. Short stays (1-2 nights) are welcome, but we ask for assistance for long term stays or on-going projects to help offset the cost of water, lights, propane, and rent. Generally, the fee is $20/night for 2 people or $15 for one. Please call Dr. DePerno to make arrangements at 919-513-7559.

More Details…

The Bull Neck Swamp Forest consists of four preserves, each with unique features: