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Cranesville Swamp Preserve
Nature Conservancy Preserve
Bog at Cranesville Swamp
Country  United States
States  Maryland,  West Virginia
Counties Garrett MD, Preston WV
Elevation 2,547 ft (776.3 m) [1 ]
Coordinates 39°31′53″N 79°28′55″W / 39.53139°N 79.48194°W / 39.53139; -79.48194
Area 1,600 acres (647.5 ha) [2]
Established 1960 [2]
 - National Natural Landmark October 1964 [3]
Owner The Nature Conservancy
IUCN category III - Natural Monument
Nearest city Friendsville, Maryland
Location of Cranesville Swamp Preserve in West Virginia
Wikimedia Commons: Cranesville Swamp Preserve
Website: Cranesville Swamp Preserve

Cranesville Swamp Preserve is a 1,600-acre (650 ha) preserve situated in Preston County, West Virginia and Garrett County, Maryland. [4]. It is one of the few remaining boreal bogs in the southern United States, [5] unusual in harboring many plants and animals that are normally only seen in more northern climates.[4].



The Nature Conservancy purchased the 1,600 acres (650 ha) beginning in 1960.[2] In October 1964, the site was designated as one of the first National Natural Landmarks in the country.[3][2]


Cranesville Swamp is situated in a natural bowl, creating a climate that is more consistent with more northerly regions.[4][3]




Cranesville Swamp's unusual setting allows 19 different plant communities to flourish, [6] with the most dominant species being, among others, Sphagnum moss, Speckled Alder (Alnus rugosa), various sedges (Carex folliculata, and C. stricta), and grasses. Bog species include round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) and narrowleaf gentian (Gentiana linearis).[2]

The swamp is also home to the southernmost natural community of larches.[2]


In addition to black bear, deer, and a wide variety of birds, the rare Northern Water Shrew has been documented here. Birders have also noted the golden-crowned kinglet and Nashville warbler, rarely seen in this area.[2]



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