[Comments in bracket are by Jeannine and Duane]
From the Northern Crew:
With trapping done for the year, we finished pulling all our Clover traps from the forest and removed all our rocket net sites. While capture can be exciting, I think we all felt relieved to be moving these things for the last time. The frenetic pace of capture is over and for that we’re grateful.
We lost one of our collared does this week as she appeared to fall victim to a predator of the 4-wheeled kind. We tracked her location and found her laying approximately 50 ft off Route 6, the closest thing to a highway in Potter County. There were no evident signs of illness or bite wounds, but she had a broken back leg and numerous areas of “road rash.”
The majority of this week consisted of FLIR surveys. We managed to complete all of our required transects once. It’s a very neat technology allowing us to identify deer that we would otherwise totally ignore. Some areas have been holding a lot more deer than others so it’s somewhat helpful in planning for any possible future trapping efforts.
Outside of deer, we’ve also seen a handful of other creatures. Porcupines seem to be the second most observed animal, followed by rabbits, raccoons, and a host of other small mammals. We believe we even saw a bear and her cub way off on a distant ridge one night.
Next week we plan on continuing with FLIR surveys as well as performing any possible clean-up tasks. A pretty simple, laid-back week.
Field Crew Leader
From the Southern Crew:
Now that trapping is over, we are on to clean up. Picking up traps and hauling them to the nursery until next season. We are also completing FLIR surveys in the evenings. Typically, we drive 3 routes an evening. The surveys are cool to do, since the cameras allow you to see critters in the dark. We have had the opportunity to see porcupine, rabbits, owls, and even a bobcat!
This week we also went to check on a collar. It hadn’t been sending a location. We looked in the last known location and luckily there wasn’t a deer or collar there. Using our telemetry equipment, we determined that the collar was still in ‘live mode’ so we will check the signal weekly until it sends a new location. Over the next few weeks we will be working on FLIR surveys and ideally, we will be able to drive every route twice.
Field Crew Leader
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