Research

Research

The Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society hosts, sponsors and participates in a number of research activities and projects that explore, count and report the variety and number of wild life species in our area. These activities promote our understanding of the quality of our environment. Check out our Events Page for the times and places of these activities. If you want to join in, contact the leader of the event and check our home page for announcements and changes in plans. The results and data of these activities are presented as they become available.

Dragonfly and Damselfly Species Counts for Bedford, Cambria & Somerset Counties as well as Dunning's Creek Wetlands (as of August 2007). This activity is sponsored by the APAS.

Waterfowl and Shorebird Counts made at the Dunning's Creek Wetlands throughout the Spring Season.  The Results of these counts are listed here.

Raptors are counted at the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch during their Fall and Spring Migration through the area. Visit our hawk watch page for details and results of the count.

A Research Project on Eastern Golden Eagles is being conducted in this area by The National Aviary and The Powder Mill Avian Reasearch Center. They have trapped Golden Eagles and outfitted them with Radio Transmitter that transmit their location as they migrate. Click on this link to be taken to a page summarizing the reseach project in our area.

The North American Butterfly Count is conducted early in July by the North American Butterfly Association. Click here for the results of the butterfly counts for the years of 2000 through 2016.  APAS members Tom and Sally Dick are the compilers for the East Bedford County butterfly count and submits results to NABA. Check out our events lists for details. The North American Butterfly Association has much information about butterflies and the results of the counts on their website. Click on this link to go to the NABA website.

In late Spring, a Migratory Bird Count is conducted. This is an opportunity to see passerines such as warblers and other songbirds that only pass through the area.

The APAS conducts a Christmas Bird Count and a Winter Raptor Survey to identify birds that are "wintering over" in our area. The results of the 2007 Christmas Bird Count are available in the February 2008 edition of "The Chickadee Chatter". Click here to go to our Events & Newsletter page.

The 2016 Christmas Bird Count data is available here! Click here to view the data.

Biodiversity: The Rich Heritage of Our Bioregion

Maintaining biodiversity is a key to everything we stand for in Allegheny Plateau Audubon. Our varied environment offers abundant opportunities for observing the beauty and wonder of a splendid bioregion. Still, as threats from global warming, from pollution, from exploitation, from human environmental impacts of all sorts take their toll, we know that the variety of life in our surroundings is being degraded, both within and among species and in all groups of living things. Sadly those of us who are old enough and have been watching any group closely have actually seen diversity decrease within the short span of our lifetimes. Human impacts are so dramatic and rapid that they often outstrip the resiliency of nature.

If the natural world is to have a fighting chance, humans who care about it must be vigilant in noting and counteracting the constant bombardment of negative pressures.

But we can't protect that which we haven't perceived to be in decline, and we can't tell what we've lost if we don't know what we have to start with. Therefore, all of us need to learn what's out there and watch with educated eyes. That's what this section of the web site is all about: sharing our collective knowledge and teaching each other how to look carefully. We'll be posting and updating checklists for our region – in some cases, county by county – so we can chronicle and celebrate our area's natural abundance and help each other watch for declines in things that were once more numerous or widespread.

We'll also give some hints as to what field guides we've found are dependable to get you started or to confirm rarer finds, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned naturalist. Of course, all the books in the world can't substitute for actual observation in nature. Our chapter is blessed with experts on many different taxa, and they give generously of their time and knowledge throughout the year to provide programs, lead outings and sustain ongoing projects. Please join us in this educational effort, employ the tools provided here and develop a deeper enjoyment of the natural richness of our bioregion.

Dennis McNair, Former President, Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society (1999-2015)

Join Us Today

Want to get involved with our organization? Members of our Audubon Society chapter receive our seasonal newsletter, "The Chickadee Chatter". Members who also join the National Audubon Society also receive Audubon Magazine. Click here to learn how to become a member today.

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