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What’s New in Nature: Grey Catbird

By Jen Karberg | July 29, 2015 | Comments Off on What’s New in Nature: Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird (Dumetella caroliniensis) To be seen and not heard, is certainly not part of the upbringing of these feisty chatterboxes.  As soon as you near, they are sure to alert you of their presence – perhaps by launching into a melodious cascade of sounds to rival a nightingale – or going on in a…

What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

By Jen Karberg | July 22, 2015 | Comments Off on What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

Flowering now! Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), also known as  “Butterfly Weed,” attracts a wide variety of butterfly species with its showy flowers and abundant nectar. This gorgeous and unique plant is fairly rare on Nantucket but is a very important component of Nantucket’s sandplain grasslands.   Orange Milkweed has great wildlife value; the leaves are a…

Report Nantucket Bat Sightings!

By Danielle O'Dell | June 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Report Nantucket Bat Sightings!

GOT BATS? We want to hear of your sightings! Zara Dowling, a graduate student at UMass-Amherst, received a research grant from the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative this spring to study and document the bat species on Nantucket. Zara has been working with the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Science and Stewardship Staff to record the calls of bats…

Welcome to NCF’s 2015 Seasonal Botany Field Assistants

By Danielle O'Dell | June 1, 2015 | Comments Off on Welcome to NCF’s 2015 Seasonal Botany Field Assistants

Each summer, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation hires two seasonal botany field assistants to help us collect data on a variety of projects throughout the field season. This year, we are very lucky to have Natalie Pawlikowski and Kaitlyn Evans joining our team! These two ladies will be helping us to locate populations of rare plants…

Four-toed Salamanders

By Danielle O'Dell | May 22, 2015 | Comments Off on Four-toed Salamanders

In 2009, Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Director of Natural Science at the Maria Mitchell Association, found the very first record of a four-toed salamander for Nantucket in the vicinity of Sesachacha Pond! Andrew was working on another project at the time and incidentally found the four-toed salamander underneath a plywood board meant to attract snakes. Up to…

Spring Happenings at Squam Farm

By Karen C. Beattie | April 10, 2015 |

By Connie Helstosky, NCF Sheep Grazing Project Technician Greetings from Squam Farm! This past fall I made the decision to not breed the ewes. Therefore, there will be no lambs this year out at Squam Farm. I do look forward to lambing in the future. As I learn more about targeted grazing and the unique…

Controlling Phragmites with Salinity

By Jen Karberg | March 20, 2015 | Comments Off on Controlling Phragmites with Salinity

*This research was recently published in the journal Wetland Science and Practice. The full article is available here: PhragmitesGreenhouseWSP Among invasive, non-native wetland plants in North America, Common reed (Phragmites australis); commonly just called Phragmites is king; forming dense monocultures and crowding out native plants. A variety of this species is native to North America, but the non-native…

Less Shrubs and Moor Views

By Karen C. Beattie | February 3, 2015 |

Take a walk in the northwestern portion of our vast Middle Moors property holdings this winter, and you will see that the landscape in this area has been opened up dramatically. This brushcutting management work is being undertaken by Foundation staff and is associated with our Middle Moors Wildland Fire Management Plan. The mutually-compatible goals…

Meet Our New Sheep Grazing Project Technician!

By Karen C. Beattie | December 3, 2014 | Comments Off on Meet Our New Sheep Grazing Project Technician!

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…

Restoring Illegally Created Trails on Foundation Properties

By Jen Karberg | November 19, 2014 |

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…

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