Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bambi has Been a Bad Deer

                The third week of my ten-week internship was spent with resource management. The resource management division is tasked with the job of keeping track of the natural resources our park has to offer. They track numerous deer within the park, they look at the impacts the deer have on the vegetation, and they track our piping plover. This is just the short list of things I got to do this week. The resource management division is tasked with much more than this.

Presentation on Deer Problem
Surverying the Weak Under-story
                The first objective I was given was to track deer along the island. The park does this to track the movement of the deer. They are interested in seeing where the deer like to go for the different seasons. The deer are also having an effect on the amount of under-story within the forests on the island. The under-story is made up of smaller trees and plants which are on the bottom layer of the forest. These small trees are needed to replace the older trees within the forest when they finally die. The sunken forest is one of two American holly maritime forests in the nation and the deer are eating all of the little holly saplings. The park is looking to start a deer management plan to drop the number of deer in that park and help the under-story
return in the forest and help strengthen the area. The plan is still in the works which is why they are still doing studies of both the animals and the vegetation.

                They also had me working on keeping track of the piping plovers within the park. There are seven active nests in the park with three of them already having chicks running around the beaches. In order to keep an eye on the chicks and the parents we went out on the beach with binoculars so that we could see the birds from afar and wouldn’t disturb them as they sat on their nests or kept track of their young.

Here is a Plover foraging 
 Week four will be spent with the administration team at park HQ.

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