Naturalist Mike Bottini Makes Discoveries

June 21, 2019

By Yvette DeBow-Salsedo


Wildlife biologist Mike Bottini is one of our long-time educational partners. A regular leader of the Trust’s Connections programs, Mike leads paddles through local waters to share the wonders of nature here on the East End — among his many programs and research activities. Mike is also one of the founders of the Long Island Nature Organization. Mike is dedicated to protecting our wildlife and their habitat. Below is some news:

River Otters on Long Island

Earlier in June, Mike shared an exciting update on the resurgence of our river otter population on Long Island. The river otter were extirpated over much of its range in North America, including Long Island, during the unregulated fur trade era (1600-1850). Mike just completed a report on river otters based on a comparison of fieldwork and surveys in 2008 and 2018.

We are so proud to learn that the number one area where the otters are thriving is in Greenport at The Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve. This beautiful preserve, also known as the Arshamomaque Pond Preserve, was in part made possible by you, the supporters of the Trust.

The 52-acre preserve was assembled by the Town of Southold using a combination of Community Preservation Fund and Open Space Capital funds. The Trust played a part in its protection, assisting the Town with the purchase of 24.8 acres in 2000. That portion of the preserve, on the southeast edge, includes over 1/3 of a mile of land along Hashamomuck  Pond.

Want to learn more about the river otters and the factors contributing to their resurgence? Check out the Suffolk Times article on the new study and visit the Long Island Nature Organization to a link to the study and more on Mike’s research on the Long Island River Otter.


Turtles and Horseshoe Crabs

Last week’s sold-out paddle of Sebonac Inlet offered a focus on “marine egg-layers.” Participants were excited when they discovered multiple horseshoe crab nests (though no actual crab sightings) as well as three mature female diamondback terrapin turtles. Mike said these turtles are: “one of our most beautiful native turtles and the only one that inhabits the salt marsh and estuary ecosystem year round.”

Thank you to Mike for partnering with us throughout the years! Interested in joining us on one of our upcoming nature tours? Check our calendar for more information.

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