Fall Winter 2012-2013
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All Through the House: The ecology of dwellings
A Dog of Singular Intent
by John Hanson Mitchell
Keeping Our House in Order
by Laura Johnson
Ever since human beings began living in shelters, they have had a tendency to bring images of nature indoors to decorate their dwellings. Evidence appears first in the neolithic cave paintings and continues through ancient Rome up to the current era.
by Teri Dunn Chace
The Hot Line
Many species of animals seem to have the same propensity for dwellings as the human homeowners. Mass Audubon’s Wildlife Information Hotline receives thousands of calls each year. Along with providing advice, it turns out that the hotline is a good indicator of the changing status of wildlife around the state.
by Thomas Conuel
A Calamity for North America’s Bats
A fungus causing white-nose syndrome has wreaked havoc on native bat species.
by René Laubach
Wildlife invasions of houses is such a common phenomenon, a group has been formed with a body of licensed animal catchers known as Problem Animal Control (PAC) agents. If you have skunks in your cellar or mice in your attic, the local PAC agent would be the one to call.
by Karl Meyer
The Long Catwalk
Cats have been associated with human beings ever since the development of agriculture, some 12,000 years ago. They may be good mouse predators, but they are also responsible for the deaths of millions of birds each year. Indoor cats pose no problem, and programs designed to control feral cats—the most serious predator—are underway.
by Gayle Goddard-Taylor
Little Miss Muffet’s Lament
Far more common than the mammalian and avian house pests are the legions of insects and spiders that also seem to favor households. Many of these species are harmless, and some, such as spiders, are even beneficial. And the few that are true pests are easily disposed of.
by Michael J. Caduto
Old Barns and their Birds
One of the most scenic architectural elements of the New England landscape—old barns—is slowly disappearing. Unfortunately, the loss of barns has meant fewer nesting sites for barn swallows and cliff swallows. In response, Mass Audubon has initiated a citizen science program called Big Barn Study to document the decline.
by Wayne Petersen
The Reclaimed Cottage
Rehabilitating a house rather than tearing it down can not only maintain the character of a neighborhood, it can also increase energy efficiency and save resources by using recycled materials.
by Ann Prince
The Political Landscape
The old cookie-cutter, one house, one-building-lot development pattern has meant the destruction of far more wildlife habitat than necessary. New landscape designs involving clustering houses and preserving tracts of common land mean that people and wildlife can coexist.
by Jennifer Ryan
At Our Sanctuaries
Mass Audubon’s rental cottage on Pierpont Meadow Pond is a perfect place to get away from it all in a natural setting.