Based on EIC staff observations, the white-tailed deer population has dramatically increased in the Environmental Study Area over the past several years. To better understand the impacts of the deer herd and other wildlife on the health of the forest, it was decided to install wildlife exclosures. These fenced-in areas keep grazing animals out, allowing for comparisons of the impacts of wildlife browsing on the plant community outside the exclosures to the inaccessible areas within. Local Boy Scout Clayton Ford volunteered to build and install three wildlife exclosures for his Eagle Service Project. Clayton researched and submitted plans for the exclosures, and raised substantial funds needed for the materials. Clayton and his crew installed the exclosures in a section of the forest between the Orchard Trail and Fairlane Drive (click here for a map of the Environmental Study Area).
Now that the exclosures are installed and “closed for business,” undergraduate students from UM-Dearborn will survey the species richness and relative abundance of the plant community in the area and monitor changes in plant community composition over time.
The Rouge River Bird Observatory is the longest- running, full-time urban bird research station in North America.
University of Michigan – Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128