Dr. Andy Danylchuk and Colleagues Discover Previously Unknown Bonefish Spawning Location

From In the Loop "UMass Amherst Expert Discovers Previously Unknown Bonefish Spawning Location―They Do It Offshore" May 18, 2011 Contact: Janet Lathrop 413/545-0444 AMHERST, Mass. - Though bonefish are one of the most sought-after tropical sport fish in the world, drawing thousands of anglers to Caribbean waters every season, until recently the only information scientists had about their spawning habits were anecdotes and fish tales. Now, University of Massachusetts Amherst researcher Andy Danylchuk and colleagues from several other institutions know far more about bonefish spawning habits after using ultrasonic transmitters to tag and track bonefish movements off Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Their results appear in an early online issue of the journal Marine Biology. Results should help focus habitat conservation efforts. It has been estimated that 30 percent of anglers who visit the Bahamas to cast for bonefish come from New England. What Danylchuk and colleagues found by tagging these popular sport fish is that bonefish gather in schools of over 1,000 at pre-spawning aggregation sites for a...
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Natural Resource Conservation students provide inventory assistance to The Trustees of Reservations

The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR:   http://www.thetrustees.org/)   turned to the UMass Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation this semester seeking assistance in conducting a natural resource inventory  on a newly acquired property in nearby North Hadley,  just west of campus and within sight of Holdsworth Hall. The Trustees own over 100 properties throughout Massachusetts, amounting to almost 25,000 acres. Their new Mt. Warner property is 170 acres of woodland playing a unique ecological role in what is otherwise a landscape  heavily dominated by agriculture and development.   Lisa Gagnon, Keith Dinardo, Rene Veiera, Jim Boehmer, and Eric Kells applied their diversity of skills to assemble inventory information on wildlife, habitat,  hydrology, cultural history, vegetation, invasive plants and insects, and recreational usage to assist the Trustees with the development of a management plan for the property. See the class web site (NRC 597I: Natural Resource Inventory of Local Lands) to view a copy of the report. ...
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ECo Helps Community Leaders Increase Forest Conservation

How does the does the ECo Department impact the communities of Massachusetts?  One way is through the Keystone Project, an effort of Professor and State Extension Forester Dave Kittredge and Forest Resources Specialist Paul Catanzaro and assisted this year by graduate student Kate Losey. The Keystone Project, formerly Coverts, trains 20-25 landowners and community leaders across the state in subjects such as forest ecology and management, wildlife management and land conservation.  In return for the training, participants, called Keystone Cooperators, are asked to return to their communities and volunteer time towards a forest conservation project of their choosing, with continued support from Kittredge and Catanzaro.  This year’s 23rd annual Keystone Project training took place April 14th – 17th at the Harvard Forest. Does it work?  In a recent survey of Keystone Cooperator activity, Cooperators collectively report volunteering 42,650 hours of time over the last 12 months or the equivalent of 20 full-time people out in communities promoting conservation!  The most often reported...
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