Mostly Trapping

Help Monitor Seedlings with the AVID Method
Sep 11, 2019 11:00 ET
Comments: If you like to spend time in the woods in the fall and are interested in keeping those woods healthy, consider monitoring tree seedling growth to find out whether deer grazing is threatening the ability of the forest to sustain itself. Deer populations in parts of the state are high enough to harm the forest ecosystem. Plants can be eliminated by high deer densities, and the future of the forest can be at risk if tree seedlings are eaten before they can grow up to replace trees that fall. Heavy grazing of shrubs and ground cover also destroys habitat for birds and other wildlife.

DEC has partnered with Cornell University to provide a way for forest owners and people concerned about forest health to monitor the impacts of deer. It involves marking some plants and measuring their height at the same time each year. Seedlings can be monitored in the fall. The method is called AVID, which stands for Assessing Vegetation Impacts from Deer. The AVID website provides all the information you need to start monitoring. For people who would like some hands-on training in using AVID, Cornell Cooperative Extension offers occasional half-day workshops that will be listed on its website when they’re scheduled.