Meet Our New Sheep Grazing Project Technician!

Connie with Sheep Nov 2014002

We are very pleased to welcome Constance Helstosky to our year-round staff as our new Sheep Grazing Project Technician. Connie joined us in mid-November and has hit the ground running, taking on the many responsibilities associated with the care and maintenance of our current flock of 75 sheep at Squam Farm. Connie took over this position from our previous technician, Jessica Pykosz, who recently moved off-island with her husband to manage a historic working farm in Foster, Rhode Island. Jess did a fantastic job overseeing our sheep grazing and flock management for the past 5 years, and we wish her the very best of luck in her new endeavors.

Connie comes to us with a great deal of previous experience and enthusiasm for this unique and challenging position. She holds a B.S. Degree in Animal Science with a pre-veterinary concentration from the University of Delaware in Newark and has four years of post-college experience working in various farm and livestock-related capacities. Over the coming months, she will be overseeing the breeding of our sheep to produce a new crop of lambs this spring, rotationally grazing the flock on approximately 30 acres of upland pastures scattered around the Squam Farm property during the spring, summer and fall, and taking care of all aspects of the flock’s health, nutritional needs, and overall well-being.

If you see Connie out at Squam Farm, feel free to introduce yourself, welcome her to Nantucket, and ask questions! Below are some thoughts from her about her past experiences and how they relate to her new position with us:

I grew up in a suburb of Boston reading All Creatures Great and Small and dreaming of the day I would become a large animal veterinarian. I attended the University of Delaware and during my first semester I got a job on the dairy feeding calves. From that moment I gravitated toward being the farmer rather than the veterinarian. During my years at University I worked on farms producing everything from broccoli to ice-cream. All the while gaining practical knowledge and a thirst to know and do more. 

Once I returned from a final semester at Lincoln University in New Zealand, I began farming full time as a herdsman for a sheep and cow dairy in CT. From there I headed north to farm on various diversified livestock operations in Vermont. All the while learning, making mistakes, and taking in as much knowledge from older farmers as I could. 

My final job before heading to Nantucket was as a nutritional research technician for a 500 cow dairy located in Northern New York recognized as one of the top producing herds in the nation. From this job I gained more skills and experience thinking about the nutritional requirements of individual animals, and the interplay of efficiency and economics. 

I am very excited to join the team at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. I have been provided with a unique and wonderful opportunity to continue a successful project. I have found farming to be extremely frustrating when troubles arise that there is no chance to prepare for. However, no other occupation on earth provides those beautiful, perfect days in the hay field, or nursing a sick lamb back to health. The triumphs and beauty of an ancient lifestyle make every obstacle worth overcoming. To be a good farmer is to be a great land steward and I believe that through this unique opportunity I will learn to succeed at both. I look forward to the unique challenges farming on Nantucket will bring me, and I am grateful to be given a chance to continue the exceptional standard and quality of the sheep land management program on Squam Farm.

Sheep Squam Nov 2012 001

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a private, non-profit land trust that depends on contributions from our members to support our science projects, conservation property acquisitions, and land management efforts. If you are not already a member, please join us! www.nantucketconservation.org

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Restoring Illegally Created Trails on Foundation Properties

Working for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Science and Stewardship Department, we spend a large portion of our time maintaining and restoring Foundation properties as favorable habitats for rare plants and animals through prescribed fire, sheep grazing and mowing to name a few techniques. Nantucket is home to very unique sandplain grassland habitats and supports the highest percentage of rare species in Massachusetts.

Northern Blazing Star (Liatris novae-angliae, Asteraceae) one of the rare plants seen at Tupancy Links

Northern Blazing Star (Liatris novae-angliae, Asteraceae) one of the rare plants seen at Tupancy Links

A great benefit of Foundation property is that, even though all of our properties are privately owned, we are able to make them available for public use in ways that are in harmony with our mission to protect and restore the unique habitats and plants and animals on this island. Nantucketers have a strong appreciation and respect for the natural beauty that makes Nantucket so special.

Open sandplain grasslands at Tupancy Links

Open sandplain grasslands at Tupancy Links

Occasionally and unfortunately though, we have to care for neglect on our properties caused by visitors.  Usually this is on a small scale: removing trash and landscaping waste piles from the Head of the Plains or cleaning up pallet piles from the Middle Moors before they can be used for bonfires.

And occasionally we find very blatant misuse of NCF properties that requires very time intensive work to restore.

This summer, in early July, a new trail appeared overnight at our Tupancy Links property in an area that never before had a trail.  The new trail was a very consistent width of dead plants (apparently killed overnight) indicating that someone likely illegally used herbicide to create this path.  This new trail, approximately 1/2 a mile long!, was in a previously and very purposefully undisturbed area of the property and, unfortunately, the time intensive restoration of this site is now up to NCF staff.

Danielle raking up illegally herbicided, dead plants before reseeding at Tupancy - the illegally created trail is visible stretching behind Danielle in the distance.  This is only a small portion of the disturbance.

Danielle raking up illegally herbicided, dead plants before reseeding at Tupancy – the illegally created trail is visible stretching behind Danielle in the distance.  This is only a small portion of the disturbance.

Why do we care? Tupancy is already very heavily used by dog walkers and the public, what does one more trail hurt?

There are a few major reasons, the first being that this is private property and alterations, particularly using herbicide, is illegal. Unregulated herbicide use can be harmful, not only to native species like the Northern Harrier but also particularly in areas where dogs and children have open access. The second is that, our Foundation staff puts a lot of careful work into deciding how our properties can best be used so that the public can enjoy them while also protecting natural habitats and plants and animals that we are responsible for. Tupancy is very intensively used in some places so we have purposely not put trails in other areas to avoid disturbing rare plants and maintain areas of continuous open space. Imagine what this island would look like if everyone decided to create trails wherever they wished. NCF staff puts a lot of time into carefully considering the location of trails and property access and blatant disregard for our hard work is pretty upsetting!

Kelly and Danielle fencing a newly restored and seeded trail at Tupancy to keep foot traffic off of it.

Kelly and Danielle fencing a newly restored and seeded trail at Tupancy to keep foot traffic off of it.

How will we restore this impacted area?  Kelly, Danielle, Karen and Jen (Science and Stewardship Staff) spent time this fall collecting seeds from the native grass, little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). We then raked up all of the dead plant material in a section of the new trail, disturbed the soil a little bit to promote germination and laid down a thick cover of little bluestem seeds. We fenced off the areas we seeded to prevent anyone from walking on this area while the seed germinates. Little bluestem grass establishes and grows quickly when planted in either the fall or spring.  We also fenced off an area of the herbicided trail and did not seed it which will allow us to see what might happen to this trail on its own without seeding.  Because herbicide was used so extensively here, we are not sure if native plants will be able to easily re-establish.

Reseeded area, fenced for the winter. We will monitor grass growth next year and hope this trail is able to re-establish.

Reseeded area, fenced for the winter. We will monitor grass growth next year and hope this trail is able to re-establish.

We will keep monitoring this trail and working on more restoration and seeding in the spring.  The size of this disturbance means it might take us quite a while to successfully restore this site.

NCF has been able to protect and maintain large areas of Nantucket but we can’t be everywhere at once, so we need your help! Please, if you see activities on any of our properties that seem unusual or not in keeping with our mission to protect Nantucket’s natural spaces, contact the Foundation office (508) 228-2884!!

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The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a private, non-profit land trust that depends on contributions from our members to support our science projects, conservation property acquisitions, and land management efforts. If you are not already a member, please join us! www.nantucketconservation.org

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Botanizing on Nantucket

By: Katherine Culatta, Seasonal Botany/Ecology Field Assistant

Katherine with a really big cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, Osmundaceae)

Katherine with a really big cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, Osmundaceae)

One of the most exciting things that can happen to a botanist is to stumble across an unfamiliar plant and puzzle over its identity, working though guide books, dichotomous keys, and consultations with fellow plant enthusiasts.  When I’m solving the identity of mystery plants, I feel like a real-life botanical Sherlock Holmes.  It’s the same kind of rush you might get from solving a complex puzzle or reaching the end of a scavenger hunt, and it’s one of the reasons I first became interested in a career in botany.  Of course, mystery plants become fewer and farther between the more time you spend in one place.  It’s nice to walk along a trail and immediately recognize most of the plants you see, but the thrill of the chase is missing.

Luckily for me, this summer I got a chance to move over 700 miles, from mountains to coast, to reach Nantucket and ample opportunity to confront mystery plants as a botany and ecology field technician for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation.  In fact, when I first arrived I was overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar plants and a bit clueless about where to start!  Fortunately, our resident plant expert Kelly Omand was there to introduce me to some of the more conspicuous plants familiar to anyone who has spent time observing the flora of Nantucket: Bayberry, Scrub Oak, Sweet Pepperbush, Little Bluestem, Blue-eyed Grass in the spring, Sickle-leaved Golden Aster in the summer, and Northern Blazing Star in the fall.  Once I was familiar with the most common plants, I was ready to start learning the less frequently seen members of Nantucket’s plant community.

Northern Blazing Star (Liatris novae-angliae, Asteraceae) at Squam Farm

Northern Blazing Star (Liatris novae-angliae, Asteraceae) at Squam Farm

The most definite and reliable resource that botanists use for plant identification is the dichotomous key.  Though dichotomous keys lack the ease and aesthetic appeal of a guide book with photographs or illustrations, they are superior for tough identifications because they offer detailed comparisons among similar species.  A dichotomous key is composed of many sets of paired questions about an unknown plant’s appearance, growth form, habitat, and other characteristics.  Each question answered narrows down the pool of potential plants that could fit the description of the unknown plant.  If a plant is truly a mystery, the best place to start is the very beginning of key, but with experience the plant family can often be determined without a key.  Recognizing family characteristics saves time in plant identification because it allows you to skip the portion of the dichotomous key designed to determine which family the unknown plant belongs to.  In taxonomic terms, a plant genus is a group of plant species defined by shared characteristics, with the genus name being the first in the Latin binomial (for example, the ‘Homo’ of ‘Homo sapiens’).  A plant family is the next larger classification that includes multiple genera and is based on characteristics shared by all the plants in the family.  For example, members of the grass family (Poaceae) have leaves with parallel veins that are divided into a stem-hugging sheath and a flattened blade, hollow stems, and specialized flowers arranged in spikelets.  Members of the daisy family (Asteraceae) have compound inflorescences made up of many smaller flowers, a specialized fruit type called a cypsela, and are usually non-woody.  Learning to recognize family characteristics is a useful botanical shortcut to get one step closer to figuring out the genus and species.

Grass specimens with a dichotomous key and hand lens (for magnifying small plant parts)

Grass specimens with a dichotomous key and hand lens (for magnifying small plant parts)

If you’d like to try keying out a plant, a full dichotomous key to the plants of New England is available online through the New England Wildflower Society. 

So, we’ve established that plant identification is a thrilling puzzle, but how does it fit into the larger goals of the Science and Stewardship department at NCF?  First and foremost, it is essential for land managers to know what species are present on their land and where they occur.  Plant identification is also crucial in assessing the effects of land management practices over time, or how natural forces such as deer activity might impact plant communities.

Part of my job this summer was to complete plant community sampling in the Middle Moors, Ram Pasture, Sanford Farm, and Squam Farm.  This entailed identifying and recording the abundance of plant species present in small plots or along transects designed to be representative of the larger landscape.  In the Middle Moors, community sampling focused around a population of Broom Crowberry (Corema conradii), a rare shrub most often found in open, disturbed coastal habitat.  Sections of habitat had been burned or mowed to assess how disturbance could promote or sustain Crowberry growth.  Community sampling at Ram Pasture and Squam Farm also took place in areas managed to promote open habitat- through fire at Ram Pasture, and sheep grazing at Squam Farm.  At Sanford Farm, monitoring was completed both inside and outside the large fenced-in area designed to prevent deer from eating vegetation.  Though deer clearly and visibly impact vegetation in areas where they feed, their exact impact on plant communities is uncertain.  Monitoring species composition in areas open and closed to deer will give us a better idea of how the deer population influences plant communities on Nantucket.

Data sheet used for vegetation monitoring. Abbreviated Latin names at left, with ‘X’ indicating species presence at each point along a line.

Data sheet used for vegetation monitoring. Abbreviated Latin names at left, with ‘X’ indicating species presence at each point along a line.

The data we collected this summer are interesting as a snapshot of the plant communities currently present in each location, but they become truly useful once they are put into the context of time.  This is achieved by compiling data sets from monitoring efforts over multiple years to assess how the plant community has (or hasn’t) changed over time and in response to management practices.   This information informs future decisions about land management on NCF properties.

Coastal sweet-pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia, Clethraceae) at Squam Forest

Coastal sweet-pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia, Clethraceae) at Squam Forest

I feel lucky to have found a place this summer where I could contribute to interesting long-term research.  I had a great time exercising my botany skills, learning a lot about coastal habitats, and working alongside some amazing biologists.  Farewell to Nantucket, and I hope we meet again!

 

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a private, non-profit land trust that depends on contributions from our members to support our science projects, conservation property acquisitions, and land management efforts. If you are not already a member, please join us! www.nantucketconservation.org

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A Field Season on Nantucket

by Andee Brendalen, Seasonal Botany Field Assistant

Andee with Black Cherry

This summer I served as a botany/ecology field assistant for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. My duties included conducting plant surveys, vegetation community surveys, tracking spotted turtles, monitoring horseshoe crab populations during spawning, and completing forest composition surveys in the Squam area. I really enjoyed all of these activities because I was able to utilize my plant identification skills, but I was also able to learn new sampling techniques and new skills like radio telemetry and navigation with a GPS.

Monarch Butterfly on Slender-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminofolia)

Monarch Butterfly on grass-leaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminofolia)

One of the most interesting jobs I had here at the NCF was monitoring rare plant species using the Element Occurrence data standard. The Element Occurrence (EO) data standard is a tool used by botanists, zoologists, and ecologists to collect information on plants and animals in a consistent way so that the data can be understood and used by all others in the field and analyzed and compared overtime. The elements I was searching for and collecting data on were rare plants found in various habitats on Nantucket.

The State of Massachusetts compiles a list of species that are ranked as Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern depending their rarity and risk of extirpation from the state. The Nantucket Conservation Foundation and other conservation organizations and land owners in Massachusetts are required to monitor these rare plants if they are found on their land. Nantucket has quite a few of the plant species on this list including New England Blazing Star, Creeping St. John’s Wort, and Eastern Silvery Aster. Many of these species are ranked as endangered and one, St. Andrew’s Cross, is found in Massachusetts only on Nantucket!

Eastern Silvery Aster (Symphiotrichum concolor)

Eastern Silvery Aster (Symphiotrichum concolor)

Typically, I would receive a map of the location of the rare plant population from years ago when it was last surveyed. If and when I relocated the population, I would record the number of plants I observed, noted any obvious threats to the population, whether the population has increased or decreased and provided possible reasons for changes. Many of the plant populations are quite challenging to find as they are often in places not frequented by people and trails may not exist in the area. Often I found myself using a map and compass to orient through scrub oak thickets and coastal shrublands to find ponds or marshes containing the plant population. I found it extremely fun and exciting to navigate through a wild area and find often small plants and count the individuals and mark the extent of the population on a GPS unit. Once back in the office, I would complete a report to file with the Natural Heritage Endangered Species Program which is a division of the Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife.

Three-angles spikerush (Eleocharis tricostata)

Three-angles spikerush (Eleocharis tricostata)

Conserving as many plant and animal species as possible is important for the maintenance of biodiversity in our ecosystems. Biodiversity allows for ecosystems to adjust to changes in climate and survive after extreme events such as droughts or floods. Genetic diversity helps species adjust to changes in their environment and prevent disease. One of the most important benefits to humans that biodiversity gives us is that of ecosystem services like cleaning our water, making oxygen for us to breathe, and absorbing chemicals.

Though all of these are great reasons to conserve biodiversity and monitor rare species, my favorite is the wonder and beauty of it all. It is hard to drive past a field of wildflowers or walk past a pond complete with water lilies, grasses, and wetland plants and not be struck by the beauty and serenity of it all. I think intact ecosystems with a high abundance of plants and animals is one the most inspiring things in the world. There are hundreds of species on the Nantucket Conservation Foundation properties interacting and working with one another to create a resilient and breathtaking community. I look back fondly at my time here monitoring and managing land on Nantucket, feeling that I did my part to conserve some of the best places on Earth for anyone that wants to experience them.

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Science and Stewardship at the Cranfest this Saturday

New at this year's Cranfest--a calendar prepared by NCF's Science and Stewardship Department. And back by popular request: locally collected native plant seeds.

New at this year’s CranFest–a 2015 calendar prepared by NCF’s Science and Stewardship Department. And back by popular request: locally collected native plant seeds!

When you visit this year’s Cranfest at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Milestone Bog this Saturday, October 11th, please stop in at the Science & Stewardship table. We love to talk about what we do, and share our explorations of the Nantucket natural world!

To share a taste of the scientific research and natural beauty we enjoy daily, this year we’ll be selling a brand new calendar packed with photos of our conservation properties and many of the plants and animals we study and work hard to protect. From New England Cottontails to spotted turtles and horseshoe crabs, colorful wildflowers and winter scenes–it’s all in there! An unusual souvenir or a great gift for a nature lover.

June 2015 NCF Calendar page, starring the spotted turtle (Clemys guttata).

June 2015 NCF Science and Stewardship Calendar page, starring the spotted turtle (Clemys guttata) with photos of its natural habitat (forest floor and vernal pool).

Locally collected native plant seeds will also be available again this year to help you boost the wildlife potential and beauty of your island garden. New this year: peppermint-scented mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum), which we have found to be hardy and deer-resistant in our restoration plantings, and hyssop-leaved boneset (Eupatorium hyssopifolium), a low maintenance plant topped with lacy white flower heads. Both are attractive to butterflies and bees, great for your pollinator garden! Seeds are collected from properties where the plants are abundant, and are a great replacement for non-native plants because they offer food for insects and on up the food chain.

All species of seeds that we offer have been grown out in our research greenhouse, and have been used in restoration plantings, where they have proven to be easy to grow and low maintenance. Seed packets are $5 each. Grasses are also available in a larger size for $10 per packet.

Returning favorites: common milkweed, coastal Joe-Pye weed, sweet goldenrod, Canada (blue) toadflax, golden sickle-leaf aster, pearly everlasting, white-topped toothed aster, goat’s rue, yellow wild indigo, little bluestem, rose mallow, blue flag iris, and switchgrass. Packets of mixed wildflowers: Monarch Meadow Mix, Moist Meadow Mix, and Sandplain Grassland Mix.

Don’t forget–next door to the Science and Stewardship table will be wool from our Squam Farm sheep flock. Pick some up for a project or a gift, and help support our sheep grazing land management program. Like the NCF cranberry bogs, the sheep management program helps the island maintain its agricultural history.

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For sale at the Cranberry Festival – Wool spun from NCF’s sheep!

"Lamb Mountain" at Squam Farm, where the NCF sheep roam.

“Lamb Mountain” at Squam Farm, where the NCF flock roams.

See you Saturday at the Cranberry Festival!

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Summer of the NCF Shorebird Monitor

By Libby Buck, Shorebird Monitor and Invasive Species Field Assistant

I have a very unique position at Nantucket Conservation Foundation. For the first part of the season I was the Shorebird Monitor and as the shorebird season wound down, I became the Invasive Plant Species Field Assistant. I was able to be immersed literally in the fauna and flora of Nantucket.

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Libby Buck, Shorebird Monitor and Invasive Species Field Assistant

Eel point is a very exciting place when it comes to shorebirds. Just this summer we had ten pairs of Piping Plovers, three pairs of American Oystercatchers, a Least Tern colony, and a  pair of Osprey that nested on the ground. The Piping Plovers fledged eleven chicks, American Oystercatchers fledged four chicks, and Least Tern colony was very successful too.

Having an Osprey nest on the ground is completely out of the ordinary, and it actually turned out very beneficial for all the nesting shorebirds. Where the nest was situated allowed the Osprey to be a “security system”, they were first to see anyone that decided to walk by whether it be people or predators, then they would take off into the air calling and alerting all the other shorebirds to be on guard. This nest successfully fledged one chick, and it can be regularly spotted perching on Pam Loring’s Tower at Eel Point.

Adult Osprey on nest on the beach at Eel Point

Adult Osprey on nest on the beach at Eel Point

Osprey chick in the nest on the ground at Eel Point

Osprey chick in the nest on the ground at Eel Point

One of my favorite tasks this season was banding the American Oystercatchers. Normally, I am observing from afar with either binoculars or a scope but having the chance to band these birds, allowed me to get up close on a personal level.

Libby Buck with a newly banded American Oystercatcher chick

Libby Buck with a newly banded American Oystercatcher chick

Now that the shorebirds are staging and beginning to migrate to a warmer climate for the winter, my time is spent battling invasive plant species.

A major invasive species that I try to conquer daily is spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), an invasive plant that loves heat and disturbed soil and can be found along road edges and bike paths. Also, this plant contains toxic chemicals which if handled without gloves can cause skin irritation and migraines. Since this plant loves constant disturbed soil, this makes it hard to remove without unsettling the ground. Elimination of this plant can only be done by digging up and getting rid of the plant entirely which includes its large tap root. Russells Way, Eel Point Road, and along the edges of Nantucket’s bike paths are just some of the areas where removals have been performed. I have never noticed spotted knapweed before I worked here. When I make trips home to Chatham, MA, I now notice it everywhere on Cape Cod and I can be a witness of how this plant literally can take over and become uncontrollable. I definitely support all the efforts that NCF & the Nantucket community have done and will do to prevent this invasive plant from spreading further.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis season has been so enriching and exciting for me and it’s not even over yet!  I have learned so much more about the shorebirds which I am privileged to oversee daily. Now I’m learning even more about Nantucket and its unique landscapes and fauna. Everyday I am challenged to expand my knowledge of our environment. All of our efforts to protect and preserve Nantucket matter and will benefit generations to come.

 

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A Summer on Coatue

By Neil Foley, NCF Coatue Ranger/Shorebird Monitor

Those who have had the opportunity to visit Coatue this time of the year know how gorgeous and interesting the property is, separated from the bustle of downtown and covered in windswept cedars, blooming native flowers, and flocks of birds.  The beautiful beaches and marshes, wealth of interesting wildlife, and native plant communities are a treat for lovers of nature and great scenery for those wishing to spend a relaxing day at the beach.  As a birder and an appreciator of coastal ecosystems, the last few months on Coatue have been very enjoyable for me.  I have loved exploring the habitats of Coatue, watching the great birds that nest all over the property, and interacting with many visitors by boat and 4 wheel drive vehicle.

An American oystercatcher chick

An American oystercatcher chick

13 pairs of American oystercatchers nested on Coatue this season.  Despite harassment by gulls and high tides washing nests away, these attentive parents successfully fledged a total of 11 chicks.  We managed to band 4 of the chicks before they were able to fly off.  Hopefully we will see these newly-hatched oystercatchers making nests of their own in a few years.

An adult American oystercatcher being banded

An adult American oystercatcher being banded

The piping plovers on Coatue were very unsuccessful this year. All three of our nests failed due to gulls, crows, and high tides.  While there is little we can do about these natural causes of nest loss, we can hope that our protective fencing improves their chances next year.

An adult piping plover

An adult piping plover

One interesting success story on the beach this year was the large colony of beach nesting double-crested cormorants.  The colony was recorded in May at 340 eggs in over 100 nests, a dramatic increase from the 42 nests observed last year.  These hardy birds have a tendency to experience sharp population booms if there is enough available food.  There are also very few native predators on Nantucket, making it likely that this colony will continue to grow in size.

Double-crested cormorant chicks

Double-crested cormorant chicks

The Foundation’s Department of Science and Stewardship has focused efforts on the removal of several invasive plant species on its properties across Nantucket, and Coatue is no exception. There are many interesting plant communities on Coatue and many important native plants to protect.  This summer, I spent a lot of time removing horned poppy, a non-native, invasive flowering plant from the Black Sea region and Mediterranean Europe.  Over the course of July and August, I pulled over 11,000 of these poppy plants with some help from a few of our fantastic volunteers.  This huge number of now-evicted plants makes a significant dent in the invasive species count on Coatue, but the battle is far from over!

Horned poppy

Horned poppy

All in all, I have had a blast living and working on this beautiful property. Through the course of the summer I have learned so much about this island and the cool birds that are found here as I experienced a lot of the natural wonders that Nantucket has to offer.  Thank you to those who have come out to Coatue and shared their experiences with me.  I am looking forward to coming back!

Neil Foley (NCF Coatue Ranger/Shorebird Monitor) releases a just-banded American oystercatcher chick on First Point

Neil Foley (NCF Coatue Ranger/Shorebird Monitor) releases a just-banded American oystercatcher chick on First Point

 

 

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a private, non-profit land trust that depends on contributions from our members to support our science projects, conservation property acquisitions, and land management efforts. If you are not already a member, please join us! www.nantucketconservation.org

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