Island Science

Snapping Turtle | Nantucket, MA
Insider Tips, Island Science

Help Team Turtle on Nantucket

Did you know that the ancestors of our Nantucket snapping turtles existed more than 40 million years ago?! These prehistoric-looking creatures are top predators in many aquatic systems and an important part of the present-day Nantucket ecosystem. Unfortunately, we may be “loving” them a little too much. Feeding practices, turtle handling, and otherwise harassing these wild animals has reached a fever pitch the past few years and local conservation and wildlife groups are hoping to do something about it. 

Nantucket BioBlitz
Island Science

Count Everything!

It’s once again BioBlitz time on Nantucket! July is the perfect time for a BioBlitz. It’s peak growing season, height of insects, the tail end of nesting season for many birds, decent weather for beachcombing, and there are lots of people on-island to help count them all!

Best to Let Them Be
Exploring Nantucket, Island Science

Best to Let Them Be

It’s baby bird season, and it has been a busy one so far. It’s a good time to revisit what to do when you have an encounter with a nest or baby bird and how you can best help these vulnerable little ones. At the Linda Loring Nature Foundation we frequently get calls about what to do when a bird “falls out of the nest” or the mother “abandons” the nest.

Firefly | Nantucket, MA
Island Science

Paradise for Fireflies

Early last week on one of the warmer June evenings, I was in my backyard watering the garden. As the hose sprayed my small raised bed full of hope (I am a terrible gardener) I noticed a flash in the grassland behind our house. To my surprise, it was a firefly – the first of the season for me. During the week since then, I have been ruminating on how early this seems to me. I don’t typically notice fireflies until mid-summer during backyard BBQs, definitely post-July 4th. But, as we know, one observation isn’t that much data, so I looked into it a little more.

Exploring Nantucket, Island Science

It’s Turtle Season

There are three species of native freshwater turtles on Nantucket (in addition to a few illegally released pets). You can find previous articles about the beloved spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) or the ubiquitous and prehistoric snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). The third turtle species to roam Nantucket’s freshwater and uplands is the common, native eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta picta). The painted turtle is the most widespread native turtle of North America and they are fairly abundant throughout their range (coast to coast through the northern US and southern Canada, south to the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to southwestern Alabama).

Island Science, Nantucket Events

Science Showcase for Nantucket

For many people on Nantucket—visitors and year-rounders—when asked why they love the island, they answer by talking about the natural beauty, open spaces, and bountiful moorlands. The historic charm of our downtown may be enough for some, but it’s escaping the hustle and bustle of town and getting into the open conservation lands that really enchants people.