ES is located on 914 acres of diverse habitats that have been placed in a Conservation Easement. This means that the land is preserved from development for the benefit of Piedmont wildlife.
Habitats are managed for species of interest. Early successional field habitats are disappearing, either to development or to maturity due to ecological succession. ES maintains this habitat for the Northern Bobwhite Quail, Yellow Breasted Chat, Field Sparrow, Grasshopper sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow. Wild Turkey, Woodcock and the Brown Thrasher. Our open water provides habitat for Wood Duck, Black Duck, Box Turtles, both Jefferson and Spotted Salamanders and our Swan collection. Wooded areas are home to White-tailed Deer as well as a number of other notable mammals such as Black Bear, Mink, Short-tailed Wease, Red and Gray Fox. ES participates in the Deer Management and Assistance Program (DMAP) which is a long-term nationwide research and management program.
Trail Camera Monitoring
- This study allows us to document elusive and nocturnal wildlife on the field station.
- Estimate population densities - White tailed Deer, Black Bear, Coyote, Wild Turkey, Gray and Red Fox, Long-tailed Weasel, Woodchuck, Eastern Cottontaill Rabbit, Mink, Raccoon, Opossum, dozens of bird species.
- Wildlife abundance and diversity - at least 7 Black Bear on the field station.
- Help to minimize wildlife-human conflicts and allow us to live in harmony with wildlife such as bears.
- Monitor predation of Canada geese.
- Potential for long term research.
White-tailed Deer Research and Management DMAP
- To establish a healthy and ecologically sound population of White-tailed Deer.
- Reduce and stabilize the ES deer herd.
- Minimize the negative ecological impacts of an overabundance of deer. White-tailed Deer have been described as keystone species impacting the abundance distribution and diversity of other plant and animal species.
- Improve deer herd health, stabilize sex and age ratios through selective harvesting methods.
- In absence of predators, hunting is the most cost effective and efficient management tool to control expanding deer populations.
- Through the DMAP program, ES has collected data on hundreds of individual deer from 1996 to the present.
- The Jefferson Salamander is documented as a Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah), however the first documented occurrence in Fauquier County was made at ES in 2004. Salamanders represents "keystone" species in climate change research. If salamanders are not present in a forested area, decomposition rates of forest floor litter increases, increasing the release of carbon from the soil.
- We would like to know if the ES population is isolated or part of a larger population, so in the spring when our vernal pools are high we monitor amphibian populations.