Beach-nesting Bird Program Would you like to help protect beach-nesting birds on Martha’s Vineyard?  We need help protecting nesting habitat, constructing predator exclosures around piping plover nests, fencing areas for least tern colonies, monitoring nesting pairs and their chicks, and removing our signs and fencing from beaches when the birds are finished nesting. Time period:  April – August

Time commitment: at least 2 hours per activityFemale Piping Plover with chick

We need :  Volunteers with have a strong interest in birds who are able to be on the beach in spring and summer for 1 – 3 hours.

Contact: Volunteer Coordinator, Alysa Emden

800-690-0993 ext 0



Testing our Guide to River Otter Diet Analysis, version 2

During our river otter mapping and monitoring study in 2009/2010, we collected otter scat samples at different sites around the Island.  All of these samples were disinfected, rinsed, and sieved to prepare them for diet analysis. Currently, we have a few remaining samples to sort and identify prey items that include bones from amphibians or other small vertebrates. We identified the contents of 95% of the samples we collected and created a guide to otter diet analysis that allows users to identify crustaceans, fish, and insects found in otter scat.

We need volunteers to assist with final samples and to use the key to find any errors. If you are a ‘details’ person and enjoy working with keys to identify organisms, consider volunteering with us for a unique opportunity to learn fish scale, crustacean, and bone identification.

Volunteer scientists Nancy and Margaret- hard at work identifying fish scales from otter scat


Golden Shiner Minnow scale

Time Period:  January 2018 – March 2018

Time Commitment:  minimum 2 hour time blocks

Contact: Luanne Johnson



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