VCE's Forest Projects

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Forests dominate the landscape in the Northeast, blanketing nearly 50 million acres from New York to Maine. Embedded within this area are a rich variety of upland and wetland habitats that support much of the region's biodiversity. Forests sustain people, and countless recreational opportunities.

However, this iconic landscape is threatened by fragmentation, development, climate change, and a growing array of introduced pests, pathogens, and invasive species. To understand the impacts of these and other stressers, VCE gathers baseline information and monitors ecological change over time.

National Park Service Landbird Monitoring

With preserved land across the country, the National Park Service is an ideal partner for wildlife study and conservation. When NPS was looking to monitor bird populations on some of its properties, it turned to VCE biologists for guidance. With help volunteer birders, we're now monitoring birds at 11 NPS sites across the Northeast. Learn more »

Vermont Forest Bird Monitoring Program

Initiated in 1989, this is now one of the region's longest-running studies of forest bird population trends. While numerous studies have documented declines songbirds inhabiting fragmented landscapes, few monitor birds in protected undisturbed forests in the Northeast. With troubling losses of forest habitats on their wintering grounds, it becomes critical to understand how these changes affect – over the long term – diversity and abundance on breeding grounds. Learn more »

Vermont Breeding Bird Survey

A cooperative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Canadian Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Research Centre to monitor the status and trends of North American bird populations. Following a rigorous protocol, BBS data are collected by thousands of dedicated participants along thousands of randomly established roadside routes throughout the continent. VCE coordinates and surveys routes across Vermont. Learn more »

Rusty Blackbird Conservation

Flying largely under the conservation radar until the 1990s, the dramatic and mysterious declines affecting Rusty Blackbirds galvanized scientists to learn more. In partnership with the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group, VCE strives to provide key data to guide their conservation, and they serve to spread the word about the plight of this enigmatic bird. Learn more »

Vernal Pool Conservation

Scattered in woodlands across the Northeast, small wetlands erupt with life, notably the carnal adventures of frogs and salamanders. These wetlands are vernal pools. VCE combines its expertise in research, mapping and citizen engagement in the identification and conservation of these rare wetlands and their odd array of plants, invertebrates and amphibians. Learn more »

Eastern Whip-poor-will Conservation

During the spring and summer night the relentless chanting - whip-poor-will! whip-poor-will! - carries over mountains and across valleys. The eerie chant was once heard throughout the Northeast, its unmistakable call a welcome harbinger of spring. Over the past several decades the former haunts of this aerial insectivore have grown quiet and the Eastern Whip-poor-will has disappeared from much of its former range. Learn more »