Historically used as livestock pasture, the Preserve’s original Hilltop Meadow and the newly restored Harbor Meadow were planted with native pollinator-friendly species. Today these thriving fields are alive with milkweed, sunflower, butterfly weed and big bluestem which, in turn, attract myriad species of bees, butterflies and wasps. This habitat provides natural cover for migrating birds as well as ground-dwelling mammals.
Traditionally abundant in Avalon’s habitat, quail and pheasant have become increasingly scarce in recent decades. For the past seven years, Avalon has initiated a concerted effort to re-establish viable breeding populations of these native, ground nesting birds. The Preserve raises chicks in a surrogator each year and releases them into the meadows. Our hope is that the quail’s call of “bob-white” and the male pheasant’s vibrant flash of color will once again become familiar to Avalon’s meadows.
In a collaborative effort, Head of the Harbor Village, the Humane Society of the United States, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and Avalon Nature Preserve will conduct a six-year study of our local deer population to test the efficacy and cost-efficiency of immunocontraceptive delivery methods. The objective of the study is to enhance the viability of these methods in long-term deer management plans. This clinical study will be conducted under conditions established by a New York Department of Environmental Conservation license.