We will need to organize ourselves better to address the Albany bureaucrats on issues that might not resonate well upstate but are important here. One example that comes to mind is the impact of underwater fish, eel, whelk and crab traps on diamondback terrapins. This issue has been studied extensively in adjacent states, and a simple plastic or wire excluder device, at a cost of less than one dollar, has been found to be very effective in reducing turtle mortality. There is also evidence that the rectangular excluder, by keeping crab-eating turtles out of the traps, increases trap catch!
The varied conference presentations include timely topics on current research and conservation issues relating to amphibians, reptiles, insects, mammals, birds, flora and fish. Russell Burke will be presenting on his research and conservation work related to diamondback terrapins, Matt Sclafani will discuss his horseshoe crab monitoring research, John Turner will update us on the current status of the Atlantic white cedar on the island, Rob DiGiovanni will present a 30-year-long overview of marine mammal and sea turtle surveys and monitoring, Byron Young is on board to talk about alewives, Rich Cech will discuss our local butterflies, Long Island as a bird migration stop-over and destination will be covered by Shai Mitra, and I’ll be presenting an update on my river otter research.
Other presentations include interesting wildlife management and field work at Brookhaven National Lab by Tim Green, research initiatives and conservation issues at Jamaica Bay (Don Riepe), and a very timely presentation by Matt Schlesinger on the biodiversity and ecological potential of Plum Island, a publicly owned asset straddling two federally designated estuaries of national significance that is, ironically, up for sale!
It promises to be an interesting event. Please try to join us inside on Friday or out in the field on Saturday. For more information and to register, go to www.longislandnature.org.