Wildlife and habitat research is one of the three major emphases described in the mission of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.  We gather and disseminate wildlife information through a program of conservation activities, educational activities, and research.  A variety of ongoing research projects are directed by Center officers, and most involve volunteers who donate their time to the various projects.  Many of these volunteers are not trained biologists, but ordinary people who can learn a great deal and make a real contribution to science with their efforts.  Many of these projects involve birds where “citizen scientists” have a long tradition of involvement in scientific research projects.  In addition, an internship program is available in which students can gain academic credit or valuable experience through their participation in Center projects.  Contact the Center for more information on how to become involved with our research projects or internships.

In addition to the research projects that are initiated and carried out primarily by LGNC staff and volunteers, the Center has provided an opportunity for researchers from a variety of other institutions working with the cooperation and collaboration of LGNC staff to study the unique environment that comprises the refuge.    LGNC Research Proposal Approval Process

A summary of the research initiatives at LGNC over the past decade:  A Decade of Research and Restoration at Lehigh Gap Wildlife Refuge – by Diane W. Husic

Our Research Programs:

Bake Oven Knob Autumn Hawk Watch

Every fall our members are up on the mountain documenting hawk migration at Bake Oven Knob, and overlook on the Kitatinny Ridge about 7 miles west of LGNC.   This watch has been conducted each autumn since 1961, and and has provided valuable information about the migratory patterns of raptors in our region.

Bake Oven Knob Area Winter Bird Survey

This survey is conducted on the third Saturday of each January, weather permitting, to identify all of the birds found on an auto tour route that roughly forms a rectangle around Bake Oven Knob on the Kittatinny Ridge, or Blue Mountain, in eastern Pennsylvania.  (Cumulative records from 1997-2013)

Lehigh Gap Area Bird Feeder Watch

The Feeder Watch survey is conducted by volunteers who live in the Lehigh Gap area .  Anyone in that geographic area with one or more bird feeders of any type in their yard, and who can identify the individual species of birds that visit the feeders is invited to participate in the Feeder Watch.  Volunteers are asked to spend a few hours throughout a specified day in February observing their feeders and recording any visitors.  Feeder watchers will also be asked to record weather data and feeder information.

Tracking Monarchs

As part of our conservation landscape project, we are collecting data on sightings of monarchs in gardens from late August through October.  See these simple instructions, if you’d like to contribute to this important research project.