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Michael Fargione's responsibilities include the management of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies' natural areas and coordination of access to our properties and their resources.He provides direction, support and helps deliver outdoor educational efforts geared toward the general public.
Program goals include:
Research interests involve understanding local predator-prey relationships, the interactions between human actions and wildlife populations, and finding ways to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.
Research projects currently involved in include studies of:
New York's Hudson Valley is experiencing a "mast year." Mast refers to the seeds of woody plants that are eaten by wildlife. "Soft mast" has seeds surrounded by fleshy pulp, and includes berries and fruits. "Hard mast" has seeds protected by an outer coat, such as acorns and hickory nuts.
We have talked about monarch butterflies before. The orange and black butterflies are often used in school lessons about insect ecology. Monarch caterpillars forage exclusively on milkweed; in the process they acquire foul-tasting chemicals that ward off predators. In late summer, monarchs living in the Eastern U.S. migrate to overwintering grounds in Mexico.
Does your property contain a patch of forest? When managing your woodland, resist the urge to keep things tidy. Dead and dying trees are a healthy part of forest ecosystems.
This spring, amphibians displayed their singing skills in the flooded lowlands at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies' Millbrook, NY campus. Eastern American toads were major contributors to the evening chorus, which was at times deafening.