by Paulette Hebert
A full suite of biological studies is now underway at three Lone Pine Land Trust properties.
At the Kennedy Tract, Josh Feltham, a herpetology specialist from Sir Sanford Flemming College in Lindsay will work with his team of volunteers to complete a species inventory and abundance estimates of the amphibians and reptiles at the Kennedy Tract. He will sample the different habitats along transects at specific times of the day and year. He will also be using cover boards to detect salamanders and snakes. Coverboards are thick pieces of plywood laid out strategically to attract snakes and salamanders seeking cover or warmth. The use of transects and coverboards provides standardized data which will allow LPLT to track herpetiles at the Kennedy Tract over time.
David Geale of Mariposa Butterfly Tours will be studying butterflies at the Kennedy Tract from April to July. David has photographed butterflies from around the world and has extensive knowledge of butterflies and their habitats. He is looking forward to getting started on The Kennedy Tract butterfly inventory which will allow him to focus on more local Lepidoptera.
Shrew Solutions is a consulting company led by Doug McCrae, former Board member and president of LPLT. Doug is an expert in birds and wildlife and has dedicated his life to discovering and understanding the natural world. He has worked for many years on the James Bay Shorebird project, most recently as team leader. He has assembled a team of experts in vegetation (Bill Crins), birds (Ian Shanahan) and dragonflies (Andrea Kingsley) to complete a full suite of inventories at our three newest properties (Kennedy, McColl, and DeKleer Tracts). They will be conducting standardized Breeding Bird point counts, doing raptor nest searches, and using call recordings to detect bird species that are secretive and quiet. They will also be deploying trail cameras to keep eyes on the ground all summer and to help detect mammals and nocturnal species. This will be the first time a complete study has been done at Lone Pine Land Trust properties.
Wherever possible, our experts will be documenting their finds with photographs and we are looking forward to sharing their results with you.
by Paulette Hebert