Annual Report 2019

President and Director’s Letter

Since 2011, BiodiversityWorks has worked diligently to generate a passion for Island wildlife and habitats, among the people who live, work, and vacation here.

For its small size, Martha’s Vineyard is home to a stunning diversity of species that make our island ecologically extraordinary. With the help of our inspired volunteers and interns, our staff monitors and conducts critical research on a variety of species, many of which are vulnerable – rare, threatened, or endangered. We monitor them carefully, knowing that their very survival depends on our efforts to protect them.

Black racer snakes, spotted turtles, northern long-eared bats, tiger beetles, and eastern spadefoot toads to name a few of our scaled and furry friends. Then, there are our beloved beach-nesting birds; piping plovers, least terns, black skimmers, willet, and oystercatchers. These are just some of the native species that we have worked to understand and protect.

Mentoring is also at the core of our mission. The high school and college interns we mentor each summer are the next generation of environmental stewards, and working with them is something we look forward to annually because we learn and grow with them. Our commitment to mentoring does not end when the interns leave BiodiversityWorks. We enjoy keeping in touch and offering advice to each intern as they move through higher education and their careers. Many have pursed careers in the science field, and it has been a joy to see them flourish.

2019 will certainly be a year remembered for many things, but most importantly, it will be the year a “forever home” became a reality. With little time, but a lot of determination, we organized a capital campaign that raised nearly $375,000 before our fiscal year end on December 31st. This put the purchase of the property at 18 Helen Ave well within reach by our deadline in early 2020. Our generous donors rallied to this unprecedented opportunity. It was a moment of truth that, we believe, tells us you believe in our mission and our future.

 

With deep gratitude,

– DavidFaber, Liz Olson, Luanne Johnson

 

Wildlife Research

Northern Long-eared Bat Persistence Amidst White-nosed Syndrome

Martha’s Vineyard, and other coastal areas in the Northeast, hold the promise of Northern long-eared bat (NLEB) recovery from the national white-nose syndrome crisis (WNS). Since 2015, we have been studying these bats to learn how they are persisting despite the fungus being present on Martha’s Vineyard.

We learned that some NLEB are hibernating on MV in sites that mimic caves (below ground, above freezing, high humidity). At one site we monitor, the bats emerged in the spring in good condition despite having the fungus that causes WNS on their wings. Because our winters are shorter than the mainland, and we have frequent warm spells, the NLEB wintering here can emerge periodically to feed and drink, which likely awakens their immune system. The shorter and milder winters may be what allows coastal NLEB to survive infection with the fungus.

Each winter they survive fungal infection provides an opportunity for their immune system to develop resistance. DNA samples we collect from multi-year survivors will tell us if their genome is showing signs of developing resistance. We are still seeking other hibernation locations, so if you have had bats in a basement in fall, winter, or spring, please contact us (info@biodiversityworksmv.org).

Black Racer Movements and Habitat Use WNS

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Black Skimmer Population Dynamics

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Wildlife Monitoring

This year we report on the Beach Bird Conservation Program Summary, Black Skimmer Population Dynamics, and NE Beach Tiger Beetle Monitoring.

Beach-Nesting Bird Conservation

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Christmas Bird Count

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NE Beach Tiger Beetle Monitoring

Northeastern beach tiger beetles are an endangered species in Massachusetts and a threatened species on the federally. We have contract funding in collaboration with restoration ecologist, Tim Simmons, to monitor the island’s population of these exquisite beetles whose larvae require two years to reach adulthood.

They only survive on beaches without any vehicle activity and those that have large dune systems where the larvae can overwinter.

These rare insects require two visits during mid and late summer to properly monitor their populations. In late July, we do adult counts near the intertidal zone on sunny days with light winds or no wind, walking along in teams of two using hand clickers to count adults.

In September, we survey the upper beach for larvae burrows. 2019 was a good year showing stable populations.

Community and Mentoring

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Reachin’ Out
Holdin’ Hands…

 

Walk & Talk Enthusiasts

Students & Volunteers

Birds & Mammals Counted

…Touchin’ Me
Touchin’ You…

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Summer Mentoring Program

Summer Mentoring Program

All I see in the Gdrive folder is images so I don’t know how much copy you will have for these. Or if you want to use all the images provided.

 

Basic Formatting in this Area

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Partner Programs (or something like this)

Junior Bird Count and Penikese Science Camp

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Neighborhood Yard Biodiversity Programs

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Volunteers

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2019 Financials

During 2019 we undertook a successful fundraising campaign for the purchase of our building, a transaction that we completed in early 2020. As a result of the generosity of our supporters, our contributed revenues for 2019 totaled $602,096, compared with $216,587 in 2018. We also had program and other net revenues of $37,022 in 2019, compared with $16,030 in 2018. As a result, our gross profit in 2019 was $638,647.

Our total expenses in 2019 were $229,577, compared with $206,031 in 2018. The increase in expenses in 2019 was across several categories that included wages and compensation for staff, fundraising for our capital campaign, wildlife program outreach materials (snake and bat cards and beach bird signage), and seasonal staff housing.

Our net income in 2019 of $409,070, compared with $48,768 in 2018, provided us with the financial resources to complete the $350,000 purchase of our new home in January 2020. We continue to rely heavily on our many contributors, and we are exceedingly grateful for their generous support.

For a copy of our Form 990, please email LuanneJ@biodiversityworksmv.org or call Luanne at 800-690-0993 ext. 0.

2019 Income

  • Contracts 7% 7%
  • Grants 32% 32%
  • Contributions 61% 61%

Profit and Loss Statement

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2019 Expenses

  • Fundrasing 7% 7%
  • Administration 26% 26%
  • Programs 67% 67%

Balance Sheet

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Donors & Supporters

Jan Orosz and Bill Orosz

Such exciting news.  We are happy to send some financial support toward this new chapter for BiodiversityWorks.  You’ve done such a great job building a reputable organization, based on science, addressing needs that will unfortunately likely continue to be even more critical in wildlife conservation.

Best of luck with the capital campaign.

SANDPIPER REALTY & RENTALS

We are happy to support this terrific community organization!

– Courtney Marek, Leslie Heidt, and Anne Mayhew

Pamela Kohlberg and Curt Greer

 

This gift celebrates the growth of this organization over the past eight years.

Karen Davis

Dave and I appreciate so deeply the work you do on the Vineyard to protect, observe and support the animals and the environment.

Terry Appenzellar and John Caldwell

 

With thanks to Luanne and Liz for all your work to keep the island whole.

Bill Harris

I am very pleased that you have been able to leverage our pledge forward so that you are able to move ahead with your great work. I know how pleased Nan would have been.  

Celebrating A Bird Conservation Legacy

While 2019 had many happy moments for BiodiversityWorks, one of the sorrows of the year was the passing of Johanna (Nan) Harris in January. Nan was an avid bird watcher and conservation advocate. She and her husband, Dr. William Harris, supported bird conservation efforts on the island and throughout the Western hemisphere.

When we founded BiodiversityWorks in 2011, Nan was there from the beginning supporting salt marsh bird surveys and beach bird conservation. Forever a scholar, Nan earned her M.S. degree through Harvard in 1998 studying the last of the grasshopper sparrows at Katama.

Nan’s bird conservation legacy continues to live on in the programs of several conservation non-profits, but for BiodiversityWorks Nan will always be loved and remembered at our headquarters and ‘forever home’ as Bill’s substantial gift in memory of Nan gave flight to our capital campaign.

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