New York Natural Heritage Program
Oxbow Lake/Pond
Air photo of oxbow lake along Genesee River near Geneseo, NY NYS Digital Orthoimagery Program
System: Lacustrine
SubSystem: Natural Lakes And Ponds

State Protection: Not Listed
Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S3
A State Rarity Rank of S3 means: Typically 21 to 100 occurrences, limited acreage, or miles of stream in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G4
A Global Rarity Rank of G4 means: Apparently secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
Geographically distinct variants of oxbow lake occur in New York and differ in dominant and characteristic vascular plants, fishes, mollusks, and insects. In addition, three morphological variants are also known in New York: 1) classical oxbow lakes formed from old river channels, 2) small levee lakes formed as pools from levee overwash, and 3) floodplain lakes formed and replenished during high annual water of the associated river.

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are probably several hundred occurrences statewide, although most are likely small and degraded. Very few documented occurrences have good viability and few are protected on public land or private conservation land. This community is somewhat limited to the floodplains of large streams and rivers across the state, and includes very few large, high quality examples. The current trend of this community is probably stable for occurrences on public land and private conservation land, or declining slightly elsewhere due to moderate threats related to development pressure. This community has declined substantially from historical numbers likely correlated with past hyrdorlogical alterations, conversion to agriculture, and other development.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]