Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge works closely with other researchers, Universities and science-based organizations interested in supporting the agency’s wildlife conservation mission.

Avian Science

Since 1996, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) has partnered with the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District in an on-going monitoring program for vector diseases through a bird-banding station on areas throughout the refuge.  Each bird is receives a unique leg band and number, has health measurements recorded, small sample of blood drawn for testing, and then released unharmed. The program monitors and tests smaller passerine birds for human susceptible mosquito borne diseases, such as Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus, by present or absent antibodies in the birds.  This research has resulted in a wealth of data on the abundance and species of birds on the refuge, species health, trends, and public health safety alerts and mosquito control in the Sacramento region. 


Inventory and Monitoring

As part of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Stone Lakes NWR is collaborating with the Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) initiative which is a vital part of the biological program of the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) and response to conservation in the face of climate change.  I&M collaborates with refuge staff to support inventory, monitoring, analysis and management of refuge natural resources.  I&M will make consistent, accurate, and timely information available throughout the refuge system and to other conservation agencies and organizations.  I&M is currently working with Stone Lakes NWR to collect baseline abiotic geospatial data, standardize information about species occurring on the refuge and develop a habitat management database.


Citizen Science

Stone Lakes has partnered with Project BudBurst, a nationwide Citizen Science phenological project, to monitor long-term climate change on seasonal timing of plant flowering, fruiting, etc.  Anyone can participate, and all you have to do is write what you observe for any of our 10 selected plants while you are enjoying a nice walk, and then input your data on the national Project BudBurst webpage for Stone Lakes. The plants that were picked to monitor can all be found along Blue Heron Trails. It's a great way to enjoy the outdoors while lending your nature observations to a national science monitoring project!  


The refuge also partners with local colleges and universities, such as CSU Sacramento and UC Davis, on graduate research projects.  Graduate students are required to propose their project to the refuge manager, and if granted permission, obtain a refuge Special Use Permit in order to conduct the research.  If you are a graduate student or researcher seeking to propose a project, please see the Permits page for more information.