upcoming events



Contact Mike for rentals: Single kayak ($40); tandem kayak ($60); paddleboard ($50).
mike at mikebottini dot com or 631-267-5228.


The second annual Long Island Natural History Conference was held Friday, December 6. Videos of all the presentations are available at longislandnature.org.

Read the Newsday article on Mike's field trip here.

Search all mike's columns

Now you can search all of Mike's columns in The Southampton Press.

River Otter news

Mike's report on his 2013 Fishers Island otter survey is available here (pdf).

A video of Mike's talk on River Otters at the first Long Island Natural History Conference in November, 2012 is available at LongIslandNature.org. Click here to view it.

Video of Mike's interview on LTV sbout the Long Island River Otter project is available here.


Mike's Winter 2012 Report on the Long Island River Otter Project is now available. Click here to download the pdf.

Newsday did a short interview with Mike on his River Otter study. The wire services picked it up leading to stories in the Wall Street Journal, and on CBS and NPR. The full Newsday story is here, and includes a rare otter photo and an interesting map of latrines and sightings.

Listen to Mike's Radio Broadcasts

Mike's radio broadcasts are now available online. More than two hours, 40 separate essays on everything from "Alewife" to "Woodcock." The series won First Place in the radio feature division at the Long Island Press Club Media Awards, 2007.

Here's the List. Enjoy!

Pine barrens Hikes

Here's a guide to hikes in the Pine Barrens, courtesy of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.

mike bottiniAbout Mike:

Mike Bottini is a veteran naturalist, outdoor educator, and environmental consultant. After completing graduate studies in wildlife ecology at the University of British Columbia, Mike worked for fourteen years at the Group for the South Fork, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. He has taught field ecology, environmental science, and natural history courses at St. Lawrence University, Southampton College, and CUNY, has published three books, and is an award-winning columnist. Mike's wildlife research studies have included elk, spotted and tiger salamanders, spotted turtles, piping plovers, and river otters. He continues to introduce people to the outdoors through his field naturalist classes, nature walks, and paddling trips.
Mike also serves on the board of SPOKESPEOPLE of Eastern Long Island, a cycling advocacy organization working to create safer cycling conditions on the east end. For info, visit www.spokespeopleli.org He is also active in the Plum Island preservation project: see the links at left. He is a founder of the Long Island Nature Organization.

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Otter Study reports:

Mike's Winter 2012 Report on the Long Island River Otter Project is now available. Click here to download the pdf.


Mike's original 2008 River Otter Study Report is also available. Click Here to download the pdf (1.5 MB).

To report an otter roadkill, please contact the NYSDEC Wildlife Office at 631-444-0310 and Mike Bottini at 631-267-5228. Include date, time, and specific location.

Please contribute to the River Otter Study by posting your sightings and comments to Mike@Peconic.org.

With its short legs, unusual tail, and large size (3.5 - 4 feet in length), it is difficult to confuse an otter on land with anything else. Our most common semi-aquatic mammal, the muskrat, is much smaller. But in the water, relative body size and shape can be difficult to determine. Watch carefully and note how the animal is swimming.
• Does it stop and raise its head and shoulders above the water like a periscope (otter)?
• Is there vegetation trailing from its mouth (muskrat)?
• Is it taking a direct route and staying at the surface (muskrat), or repeatedly diving (otter)?
Be sure to include the date, time, and location along with your detailed observations.


Mike's 2005 landmark study of spotted turtles' use of mosquito ditches helped alter marsh management practices in Suffolk County. The report is available here in pdf format.

turtle study

Read about the NYS Natural Heritage Program here.

read about the plum island preservation project here


Connect to preserveplumisland.com here

download the NY Natural heritage program report on plum Island diversity here

Mike's BOOKS:

The Walking Dunes:
East Hampton's Hidden Treasure


Ruth Formanek and Mike Bottini have collaborated on an elegant, profusely illustrated, guide to "East Hampton's Hidden Treasure," the Walking Dunes. Mike takes us on a guided tour of the flora and fauna of one of Long Island's most special places.

Exploring East End Waters:
A Natural History and Paddling Guide


The most comprehensive guide to kayaking and canoeing on the East End of Long Island, Mike Bottini's long-awaited Exploring East End Waters is based on his award-winning column in The Southampton Press.

Trail Guide to the South Fork


The first comprehensive guide to trails of the South Fork. For more than ten years the Group for the South Fork has been working with the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society and the Southampton Trails Preservation Society to preserve and define the trails, ancient and new, of the South Fork of Long Island.

All Mike'S books are also available in Kindle, IBOOK, Nook, and other eBook formats.


Citizen Science


Learn how you can contribute to ongoing nature studies here.


Learn about ticks and Lyme disease here

If you have any comments or updates on the trails please let Mike know: email Mike at MikeBottini dot com