Habitat Change in the Mohonk Preserve
Recently, Joe Chernek completed with MA thesis on habitat change at the Mohonk Preserve. His work is an example of the types of collaborative research both our graduate and under graduate students may undertake.
Joe made use of the extensive database at the Mohonk Preserve (which includes continuous weather data back to the end of the 19th century).
He compared the results of the 2007 Breeding Bird Census with those of 1992, 1997 and 2002.
Some changes can be attributed to habitat change due to re-growth of forests and to the lack of a significant presence of natural fires over the past several hundred years.
He made use of GIS technology (look it up!) to map bird territories and species distributions over the study site.
Some changes in the bird census could be due to climate change, habitat change following human disturbance and changes at the wintering grounds of migratory visitors.