We had success in trapping small mammals today! Our group of 7 had set 100 traps in two separate areas near the Cooks Lake area (a 1 mile by .5 mile strip of land owned by the scientists). In area 1, along a hill side overgrown with bramber bush, poplar and small pine trees, we found about 9-10 animals including shrews, wood mice, red back voles, and chipmunks. In area 2, a lush moss covered forest of mid age pine trees, we found about 5-6 more animals including a bog lemming, mice, and voles. When we discovered a tripped trap, we would carefully bring the trap to a designated focal point adjacent to the monitoring area. One by one, we would place the trap in a plastic bag, empty the contents and "scruff" the animal so it could be examined. We learned how to identify the sex, approximate age, physical condition, pregnancy, and weight. Scientist Christina would then snip a "hair marking" on a specific area on the animal so we would can recognize it in the event of a recapture. All of this data was recorded in the field chart and will be used for the project-end summative report.
Along our walk to and from the field sight, we also identified more scat and animal tracks. Check out the pictures of the day including how I "scruffed" a vole:)