Ocmulgee National Monument

Natural World

Ocmulgee National Monument is located along the Ocmulgee River in central Georgia at the "Fall Line," a unique strip of land stretching from South Caroline across Georgia into Alabama. Eons ago, ocean waves pounded the southeastern shoreline of the North American continent. The warm sea deposited sand, silt and marine clays along the beach. Gradually, the sea retreated and reveled a sandy plain. This former beach with its dunes, remained as a narrow band separating the Coastal Plain from the rolling, rocky hills of the Piedmont to the North. The environmental variations within this region afford diverse natural resources and habitat for a rich variety of plants and wildlife, including a number of endangered and threatened species. The park's 702 acres encompass upland fields and forests, with riverine woods and wetlands along Walnut Creek and the river. The Ocmulgee River Heritage Greenway provides an undeveloped corridor between Ocmulgee National Monument and Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge downriver.

Our new board walk, which crosses 800 feet of emergent wetlands, allows a view into the heart of this exciting new ecosystem with a diverse selection of birds, plants, animals and reptiles.

Five miles of trails, including the Opelofa, Loop, Bartram, McDougal, and Mound Village Trails, connect the major features of the park. During the Early Mississippian Period (AD 900-1150), a thriving culture flourished here on the Macon Plateau. These true farmers planted crops in extensive fields and lived in large villages with intricate social relationships as suggested by their earthlodges and huge flat-topped mounds.

A 2-mile road allows easy access to several earthen mounds including the Great Temple Mound, the largest of the 7 mounds rising 50 feet from the base, and the Funeral Mound which was the burial place for the leaders of this complex society.

Ocmulgee National Monument and present-day Macon are located at the Fall Line, where two great environmental zones (Piedmont and Coastal Plain) overlap. Upstream from Macon, the Ocmulgee River flows between rolling hills, its channel marked by stretches of rocky shoals and rapids. Below Macon, the river changes character. Its waters move languidly through wide floodplains filled with wooded wetlands, swamps and oxbow lakes where Bald Eagles now thrive for the first time since the 1930's. Much of this area is now protected within Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Ocmulgee National Monument's 702 acres encompass forested uplands, open fields, year-round wetlands, and thickly wooded river floodplain. A relatively undeveloped greenway extends along the river between Ocmulgee National Monument and Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge about five miles downstream. Because of its Fall Line location, numerous habitats, and connections to a larger ecosystem, Ocmulgee is home to a wide variety of plant and wildlife species, and is visited seasonally by many migrant birds, including endangered Woodstorks.

Georgia Birding Checklist

Wildlife Refuges in Georgia

Natural Communities at Robins Air Force Base

Land and Water Conservation Fund

Nature Net

Watchable Wildlife

State Flowers and Trees

Amphibians

AMPHIBIANS

The species listed below are likely to occur within or near the vicinity of the park. However, the park itself may or may not support viable populations of all species due to localized distribution patterns or to lack of appropriate habitat within the park boundaries. Species recorded from the park are indicated with an "X."

Scientific name

Common name

Record for park

FROGS

 

 

Acriscrepitans

Northern cricket frog

X

Acrisgryllus

Southern cricket frog

X

Bufoamericanus

American toad

X

Bufoquercicus

Oak toad

 

Bufoterrestris

Southern toad

X

Bufowoodhousii

Fowler's toad

X

Gastrophrynecarolinensis

Eastern narrowmouth toad

X

Hylaavivoca

Bird-voiced treefrog

X

Hylachrysoscelis/versicolor

Gray/Cope's gray treefrog

Hylacinerea

Green treefrog

X

Hylafemoralis

Pine woods treefrog

 

Hylagratiosa

Barking treefrog

 

Hylasquirella

Squirrel treefrog

X

Pseudacriscrucifer

Spring peeper

 

Pseudacrisnigrita

Southern chorus frog

 

Pseudacrisornata

Ornate chorus frog

 

Pseudacristriseriata

Upland chorus frog

 

Ranacapito

Gopher frog

 

Ranacatesbeiana

Bullfrog

Ranaclamitans

Green frog

X

Ranautricularia

Southern leopard frog

X

Scaphiopusholbrookii

Eastern spadefoot toad

 

SALAMANDERS

 

 

Ambystomamaculatum

Spotted salamander

 

Ambystomaopacum

Marbled salamander

Ambystomatalpoideum

Mole salamander

 

Ambystomatigrinum

Eastern tiger salamander

 

Amphiumameans

Two-toed amphiuma

 

Desmognathusauriculatus

Southern dusky salamander

X

Desmognathusfuscus

Northern dusky salamander

 X 

Euryceacirrigera

Southern two-lined salamander

 X 

Euryceaguttolineata

Three-lined salamander

 X 

Euryceaquadridigitata

Dwarf salamander

 

Necturuspunctatus

Dwarf waterdog

 

Notophthalmusviridescens

Red spotted newt

 

Plethodonglutinosuscomplex

Slimy salamander

X

Pseudotritonmontanus

Mud salamander

 

Pseudotritonruber

Red salamander

 X

Siren intermedia

Lesser siren

 

Siren lacertina

Greater siren

 

TOTALS

 39

20


 

Reptiles

REPTILES

The species listed below are likely to occur within or near the vicinity of the park. However, the park itself may or may not support viable populations of all species due to localized distribution patterns or to lack of appropriate habitat within the park boundaries. Species recorded from the park are indicated with an "X."

Scientific name

Common name

Record for park

ALLIGATORS

 

 

Alligator mississippiensis

Alligator

X

TURTLES

 

 

Apalone spinifera

Spiny softshell turtle

 

Chelydra serpentina

Common snapping turtle

X

Chrysemys picta

Eastern painted turtle

X

Clemmys guttata

Spotted turtle

 

Gopherus polyphemus

Gopher tortoise

 

Kinosternon subrubrum

Eastern mud turtle

X

Pseudemys concinna

Eastern river cooter

X

Pseudemys floridana

Florida cooter

 

Sternotherus minor

Loggerhead musk or stripeneck musk turtle

 

Sternotherus odoratus

Common musk turtle

X

Terrapene carolina

Eastern box turtle

X

Trachemys scripta

Yellow-bellied slider

X

LIZARDS

 

 

Anolis carolinensis

Green anole

X

Cnemidophorus sexlineatus

Six-lined racerunner

X

Eumeces egregius

Mole skink

 

Eumeces fasciatus

Five-lined skink

X

Eumeces inexpectatus

Southeastern five-lined skink

X

Eumeces laticeps

Broadhead skink

X

Ophisaurus attenuatus

Slender glass lizard

 

Ophisaurus ventralis

Eastern glass lizard

 

Sceloporus undulatus

Fence lizard

X

Scincella lateralis

Ground skink

X

SNAKES

 

 

Agkistrodon contortrix

Copperhead

X

Agkistrodon piscivorus

Cottonmouth

Carphophis amoenus

Worm snake

 X