Mission

The Conservation Agency is a scientific, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity: the world’s fauna and flora. We are distinctly different from the many other fine conservation organizations because we concentrate on scientific research and publication of results, usually in peer-reviewed journals. Our efforts can be divided into two broad, overlapping areas:

Exploration and Discovery    We head out into the field, often to remote corners of the world, searching for new species, lost species, critical habitats, and insights into ecological relationships. We do population assessments, animal behavior research, and recovery plans. We get muddy, or sandy, or sweaty, or sometimes thoroughly chilled  – or all of those things. We catch animals, collect plant specimens, and document habitats.   We write up our results and publish them.

Conservation and Management    Based on our fieldwork, we produce management plans for individual species, particular habitats, and even whole ecosystems. We get this information into the hands of governmental agencies, land acquisition organizations, and stewardship groups. We even directly manage some sites ourselves, such as Snake Acres in the Lower Florida Keys and the Guana Island Wildlife Sanctuary in the British Virgin Islands.

Our efforts begin at home in southeastern New England, extend across North America, and include the West Indies, East Indies, China, Australia, and sometimes Africa: from Nantucket to New Caledonia, Newfoundland to Tasmania. Our list of over 450 publications provides an overview of our accomplishments and activities

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Yesterday felt like Christmas in July for the NBCS team! We collared a very healthy and feisty female coyote at Breene Hollow Farm in West Greenwich. She looked small to us - because she has shed so much of her winter coat - but weighs in at 31 lbs, a big female! We're calling her "Summer" and are looking forward to seeing what we can learn as we track her throughout her range. Special thanks to farmer, former senator, and West Greenwich town administrator, Kevin Breene, for letting us work at his farm.

Rhode Island Natural History Survey
Narragansett Bay Coyote Study
Breene Hollow Farm
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Sherlock dodged a bullet thanks to Taylor Point.

In the last two weeks not one of the collared coyote “Sherlock’s” GPS points has fallen in the feeding hotspots we found at Taylor Point, Jamestown. There was not one report about her to the police. It is clear from the GPS data that people stopped providing food for her in residential, commercial, and public areas on the Point.

NBCS has been visiting her food subsidy hotspots weekly since January, as we do with all our GPS-collared coyotes. When these points overlap with residences or businesses, we talk to the people there to figure out what’s attracting her, and potentially other coyotes. Along with her natural foraging areas (meadows, scrublands, forests), NBCS found three different places she was getting fed by people. At each hotspot we explained to the people in charge the problems food subsidies create and suggested they revise what they were doing. From the current data we can say it is absolutely working: there are distinct changes in Sherlock’s travel paths. While the coastal bramble thickets at Taylor Point are still her favorite sleeping spot she is foraging more widely on natural foods. Good going Taylor Point.

She still can be seen pouncing on meadow voles in areas with tall grass both along the coast at Taylor Point and even at Shoreby Hill if you are a night owl or early riser. If you don’t like seeing her you can cut the grass short. Meadow voles, her favorite, will vacate and with the food gone she will not bother to hang around. This coyote ranges the entire length of the island when she forages. Jamestowners, let’s see if we can keep Sherlock - and other coyotes - out of future trouble by conscientiously disposing of edible waste, never tossing or leaving her food, and hazing her if if she seems comfortable in residential areas.

The Jamestown Police have been very proactive by removing open trash at the Taylor Point Lookout and educating residents. Remember it is illegal to place out food attractants of any kind for coyotes under state regulations and town ordinance. Relocation is illegal.

Photo: Scott Burns, Ft. Getty mousing field. Map: NBCS current Sherlock data (Mar 29, 2021).
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