RESEARCH

Oxbow Associates Research

Oxbow Associates research includes wetland delineation and permit preparation, for state, federal and local permits, wetland replication design and mitigation planning, GIS mapping and analysis, vernal pool evaluations, wildlife habitat assessments, radio-telemetry of rare turtles and snakes, conservation planning, expert testimony and client representation.

Vernal Pool Ecology

Organisms that depend on vernal pools are vulnerable to direct and indirect impacts resulting from land development. This is mostly because they often are not detected by field surveys during the wrong seasonal conditions and because current wetland regulations do not protect vernal pools if they are not within a jurisdictional wetland resource area. Oxbow Associates has been involved with data collection for certifying many vernal pools throughout Massachusetts and Oxbow Associates has also been involved with designing and monitoring a constructed vernal pool where it contains trans-located amphibians and insects to establish a vernal pool community and monitor use of the pool and surrounding habitat using drift fences. The results of the research has given Oxbow Associates the ability to work with developers to design projects approved by Massachusetts’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program because the design incorporated appropriate mitigation measures to minimize adverse impacts to rare salamanders and/or invertebrates found in some vernal pools.

Preserving Turtle Habitat Within A Developing Landscape

Oxbow Associates has been studying freshwater and terrestrial turtles in New England for many years. Many of the turtles we have studied over the years require a diverse mosaic of habitat including a mix of deep permanent marshes, vernal pools, upland woods, and open uplands for nesting. The variety of habitat required by some of the state-listed rare turtles is an important variable to consider when planning development near any rare turtle habitat. Oxbow Associates has been using radio-telemetry to track turtles for over two decades, providing an understanding of where, when and why certain species use specific habitat features. Many of Oxbow Associates recent projects have incorporated mitigation nesting habitat to increase the potential nesting habitat in a given area. The data that is collecting now will be extremely valuable to determine even better methods for creating mitigation nesting sites.

Natural Heritage Endangered & Endangered Species Program

Oxbow Associates also works on permits for many Massachusetts’s state listed endangered species. Below is a list of species Oxbow Associates commonly work with. If you are interested if we work with a species that is not on this list, please contact us.

  • Eastern Box turtle

    (Terrapene carolina carolina)

  • Wood turtle

    (Glyptemys insculpta)

  • Blanding’s turtle

    (Emydoidea blandingii)

  • Northern copperhead

    (Agkistrodon contortrix)

  • New England Blazing Star

    (Liatris novea-angliae)

  • Marbled salamander

    (Ambystoma opacum)

  • Blue-spotted salamander

    (Ambystoma laterale)

  • Timber rattlesnake

    (Crotalus horridus)

  • Black Rat snake

    (Pantherophis alleghaniensis)

  • Broad Tinker’s Weed

    (Triosteum perfoliatum)