Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

A view of horseshoe bend in a river, winding between green hills, from Grandview’s Main Outlook.
Horseshoe Bend

NPS Photo.

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is located in rural east-central Alabama. The park is the site of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend during the War of 1812. The larger Mobile River watershed, which contains the Tallapoosa River and Horseshoe Bend, was once home to many endemic species including aquatic insects and crustaceans, aquatic snails, mussels, fishes, and turtles.

The biota at Horseshoe Bend are generally known only through species lists. In recognition of this substantial knowledge gap, the NPS has begun to characterize the amphibians, birds, and mammals of the park, and also have surveyed for a chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) that causes amphibian disease worldwide. Since the battle of 1814, the vegetation was altered extensively by human settlement, logging, and the introduction of exotic species until the park was established in 1959.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2015

In an effort to better understand the natural resources and processes present at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was conducted and published in 2015. National Park Service representatives examined current park needs and available data, and chose 16 resource topics to evaluate:

- Climate

- Visitation - human population in the park

- Human population surrounding the park

- Land use / land cover

- Soundscape

- Air quality

- Lightscape

- Fish

- Soil and streambank erosion

- Herpetofauna

- Surface water hydrology

- Birds

- Surface water quality

- Mammals

- Vascular flora

The overall condition status of natural resources in Horseshoe Bend was evenly distributed between good, moderate concern, and significant concern evenly. The overall condition of five resource topics was rated as good; 6 were evaluated to be in moderate concern and five were evaluated to be in significant concern. The results of this assessment will aid resource managers at the park to improve natural resources and consider threats and stressors such as warmer climate effects, land use and, invasive/exotic species and their effects over time.

For other reports and natural resource datasets visit the NPS Data Store.

Source: Data Store Collection 7765 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Last updated: February 25, 2022


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