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Note: Unaka Mountain is within the Cherokee National Forest and is part of the IBA site, Southern Blue Ridge.
East of Erwin to the eastern border with North Carolina, Unicoi County,
Physiographic Area: PIF 23 (Southern Blue Ridge); BCR 28 (Appalachian Mountains)
Rock Creek Campground--Lat. 360813N Long. 0822108
Unaka Mountain Wilderness--Lat. 360851N Long. 0821808W
Beauty Spot Gap--Lat. 360731N Long. 0821841W
Stamp Ground Ridge--Lat. 360858N Long. 0821645W
Unaka Mountain (summit)--Lat. 360800N Long. 0821747W
Elevation Range: 2,238' - 5,174'
2,238' Rock Creek Campground
3,947' Unaka Mountain Wilderness
4,114' Beauty Spot Gap
4,252' Stamping Ground Ridge
5,174' Unaka Mountain (summit)
USGS 7.5' quad: Unicoi
Description: The lowlands of Unaka Mountain contain oak-chestnut and mixed mesophytic forests including buckeye, Sugar Maple, Yellow Birch, beech and hemlock. As the elevation increases, blueberry and laurel are found. In the higher slopes beech-maple and spruce-fir communities dominate with grassy balds and rhododendron patches. Rock Creek Campground is typical of low elevations. At Beauty Spot, grassy balds are present. High elevation sites like Stamping Ground Ridge and the Unaka Mountain summit contain the evergreen forests. The Unaka Mountain Wilderness at 4,500' contains 4,496 acres.
Note 1. Northern Saw-whet Owl, a Tennessee Threatened species, nests on Unaka Mountain and was the first documented nesting of this species for this area. Its presence is believed to be in small numbers.
Note 2. In the period 1994-1999, 459 point counts were conducted--111 (1994), 123 (1995), 58 (1996), 125 (1997), 18 (1998), and 24 (1999), representing 68 species and 3,357 individuals. Habitats and elevations, some in designated wilderness areas, varied significantly among point counts. Twenty-two species had total counts of 50 or more birds of which 9 species were neotropical. The top 10 species (total point counts in parenthesis) were Dark-eyed Junco (340), Ovenbird (282), Red-eyed Vireo (266), Veery (223), American Crow (195), Eastern Towhee (172), Blue-headed Vireo (154), Black-throated Green Warbler (143), Black-throated Blue Warbler (121), and Hooded Warbler (95). Seven out of the top 10 species were neotropical species.
Avg. No Season
Max. No. Season
Years of Data
Northern Saw-whet Owl (See Note 1 above.)
|3||Habitat: Extensive and natural (See Note 2 above.)||B, year-round||4, 7|
B = Breeding, W = Wintering, SM = Spring Migration, FM = Fall Migration|
Source 2 1-Atlas Breeding Birds of Tennessee 2-Breeding Bird Surveys 3-Christmas Bird Counts
4-Point Counts 5-Refuge Counts 6-Personal observations 7-Other (Rad Mayfield, others)
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service
Contact: Nolichucky/Unaka Ranger District, 4900 Asheville Highway SR70, Greeneville, TN 37743, 423-638-4109.
Management Program: Cherokee National Forest Revised Land and Resource Management Plan
under the umbrella IBA site Southern Blue Ridge: February 2006--Yes
7 No 0
This page was last updated on 02/19/06.