We awoke this morning and headed back to the Cook's Lake research site where the first order of business was to check the small mammal traps we set yesterday. We climbed down the hill and into the forest checking our traps as we went along. Our first set of ten had not been triggered, but five of our traps in the woods seemed to have animals inside; two more were still set, and the other three had been ripped apart, most likely by a raccoon.
After we brought our traps back to the meet-up site we learned the correct method for removing and handling the animals. Principal Investigator Dr. Buesching took great care to make sure that we understood how to work with the animals so that they would not feel an inordinate amount of discomfort or stress, and then we each took turns removing the animals from the traps. In the video you'll see me releasing a red-backed vole; I named him Francis.
As we removed each small mammal, Dr. Buesching weighed them and recorded other pertinent information: species, sex, age, reproductive ability, etc., and then we were sent to release them back where they had been captured. Once all the traps had been checked for animals we reset them and went on to placing infrared camera traps around the research site in hopes of getting photos of animals at different locations.
We ended today by splitting in to two teams. Some of us used GPS tools to map trails and topography of the site, while myself and others picked up saws and hammers and helped build a small research station. Afterwards we re-checked our traps, recorded data, released the animals, reset the traps, and then headed for the cottage in Cherry Hill. All in all an exhausting day.
Today's question: What small mammals, besides the red-backed vole, are native to the south shore of Nova Scotia where I am assisting in this research?
- Mr. Greenslate