- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The National Park Service has designated the Albany Pine Bush a national natural landmark as an outstanding example of a globally rare ecosystem.

The sandy region of pitch pines and scrub oaks along the Thruway west of Albany joins 596 other sites across the country recognized as natural landmarks.

Such areas contain the best remaining examples of specific biological or geological features.

The Pine Bush is one of the world’s best examples of inland pine barren ecosystems. It provides supports more than 1300 species of plants, 156 species of birds, more than 30 species of mammals, and 20 species of amphibians and reptiles.

It also supports the endangered Karner blue butterfly.

The site is owned and managed by multiple private and public organizations in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission.

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