Making Sense of the Natural World: Inside Tin Mountain’s Research Projects


Tin Mountain’s Ongoing Research Projects:

Breeding Bird Monitoring: In the spring of 2008, Tin Mountain Conservation Center established a set of 36 permanent plots to monitor breeding bird populations on the 138-acre Bald Hill Sanctuary. The project is conducted by staff and volunteers who make morning visits to the plots during May through mid-June to record birds that are heard or seen. This ongoing monitoring allows for the understanding of trends in resident bird populations and to better understand how changing landscapes influence bird habitat.

img_1332Annual Christmas Bird Count: Tin Mountain Conservation Center coordinates and conducts the annual North Conway Christmas Bird Count for the Mt. Washington Valley. During a 24-hour period in mid-late December, staff and Tin Mountain volunteers canvass the area to record both the species and number of individual birds observed. Data collected is provided to the nationwide Christmas bird count that uses the data to help understand trends in bird populations across the country. Click here to learn more.


Brook Trout Habitat Restoration: The Brook Trout Habitat Restoration Project involves research on the influence of adding woody material to small streams to enhance size and abundance of brook trout populations. The intern will be involved in permitting projects, collecting baseline information on all streams, electro-fishing, making wood additions, and re-assessing streams treated in the last two years. Seven streams were treated in 2010 and eight in 2011. Project involves strenuous work as well as extensive data collections on physical and biological attributes of streams, water chemistry, and fish populations. The intern will work with volunteers and staff to collect/analyze data and report results.

Forest Ecology: The Forest Ecology Project focuses on forest habitat changes associated with forest management. The ecological monitoring of timberlands is part of Tin Mountain’s sustainability principles for managing its 1,200 acres of timberlands in Conway. Staff and volunteers have been working to compare timber cuts of varying ages with control (uncut) stands to determine whether important forest structures (both qualitatively and quantitatively) are retained to adequately provide for resident wildlife. Other forest management activities include forest inventory, mapping, boundary line maintenance, and marking timber.