Starwardship & Education

In 2004 Emily Molden returned for her second year as TLT's Shorebird Monitor/Naturalist. Emily described the nesting and feeding needs of the Piping Plovers, Least Terns and Oystercatchers to hundreds of beachgoers as she monitored these nesting shorebirds primary habitat on Tuckernuck's barrier beaches.

Additionally, Emily assisted resident ornithologist Richard Veit and The Nature Conservancy with songbird, raptor and gull banding. When banded birds are captured, released and recaptured somewhere else, it is possible to learn about the birds dispersal and migration movements..

Weekly natural history programs were offered throughout the summer season for the second year, with a 40% increase in attendance.

Emily expanded the butterfly survey this year by recording overall abundance and distribution of each species observed within sampling blocks of a grid of the island. She noted three species this year, Eastern Tailed Blue, Little Wood Satyr and Hairstreak, that were not observed in 2003. Fourteen butterfly species recorded on Tuckernuck in 2003 and 2004.

Six property owners in the south shore's globally threatened coastal sandplain agreed to participate in a 5-year mowing plan that will reduce the cover of woody species and encourage reestablishment of grasses and flowering plants. TLT is working with The Nature Conservancy and with the Nantucket Land Council to promote the practice of cooperatively managing this natural plant community, which spans across property bounds. In October 2004, a combined total of 50 acres were mowed on the LaFarge Tuckernuck Trust's southwest property and on TLTs property, formally owned by the Howard family.