The grounds of Duke Farms are used for recreational and educational activities as well as for environmental, agricultural and horticultural research. The property is currently the site of numerous research projects, several of which are highlighted here.
Conservation Study of Threatened Birds on Agricultural Grasslands
Partner: Rutgers University
Study of the relationship between state-listed endangered/threatened species of grassland birds and agricultural practices with the goal of identifying ways to lessen the impact of farming on species that rely on grassland habitat.
Partner: Ecological Solutions
Adaptive plant management to identify best practices for removing invasive plant species from woodland understories as well as maintenance methods. Exotic, non-native, noxious or non-indigenous weeds, invasive plants impact native plant and animal communities by displacing native vegetation and disrupting habitats as they become established and spread over time.
Grassland Restoration Best Practices
Partners: Duke Farms in conjunction with the Raritan Piedmont Wildlife Habitat Partnership, New Jersey Audubon, Rutgers University.
Formulation of replicable best practices in grassland restoration. Grasslands are characterized by the low growth of grasses, forbs, weeds, sedges and/or rushes. Urban sprawl has greatly reduced New Jersey’s grasslands and the species that rely on them.
Partners: Duke Farms in conjunction with White Buffalo INC., Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Burgeoning deer populations in urban and suburban areas, along with the inherent problems stemming from this increase, are becoming increasingly widespread. In this study we provide deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population data from 4 areas where localized suburban white-tailed deer populations were substantially reduced utilizing sharpshooting as a management tool.
Partners: Duke Farms in conjunction with White Buffalo INC., Connecticut Department of Forestry and Horticulture and the Bryn Athyn College.
Regulated hunting has been effective at meeting management objectives in rural areas, but typical logistical constraints placed on hunting in residential and urban areas can cause deer to become overabundant and incompatible with other societal interests. Additional measures, such as sharpshooting or other strategic adjustments to regulations and policies, may be needed if long-term deer-management objectives are much below densities of <17 deer/km2.
The Fourth of July Butterfly Count is a nationwide, volunteer, annual 1-day census of butterflies and skippers at selected sites. Through a partnership with the North American Butterfly Association, the Fourth of July Count has been conducted at Duke Farms since 2005.