Hello! My name is Mr. Greenslate. Please join me as I travel to Nova Scotia to study mammal populations!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Teaching from Nova Scotia w/ Earthwatch: New traps, Staining, Data Analysis

Today we moved our trapping site within the Cook’s Lake area, and found ourselves hacking through pretty rough terrain. We reset our traps, measured the area and placed them in different quadrants. Because of the difficult shrubs and trees (standing and felled) it took far longer than before.

After lunch we split into teams. Some of the Earthwatch volunteers went to record field signs of animals: Tracks, Scat, Burrows/Dens/Nests, Damage, Feeding remains, Calls/vocalizations, Hair/bits such as antlers. While others, including myself, continued working on the research station.

Before leaving the site we checked and reset our traps, recorded data and released the animals. Today none of my traps were successful in capturing any mammals.

In the evening, Dr. Chris Newman explained the methodology of our research, and taught us the mathematical models that are used to calculate population density. By using the data we collected last week, and plugging it in to the Schnabel Model (1930), we are able to see what the population of the areas are. After a researcher has collected data on several different days she can use the Schnabel model below to calculate how many small mammals are present. The model looks like this:

New + Recaptured
------------------------- x Marked = Population

We found the following for each area:
Hardwood Bush = 25 animals per hectare
Forest = 53 animals per hectare

By comparing our data to the last team that was here we can see that the populations of animals in these areas has decreased, and what is most surprising is that we found no jumping mice. This is interesting because the last team found quite a large number of them. The question that remains for the principal investigators here in Nova Scotia is: What happened to these jumping mice?

Today’s question: What factors could contribute to the population fluctuations ofsmall mammals?
Challenge question: What factors would be specific only to Nova Scotia?

- Mr. Greenslate


  1. Factors that could contribute to the population include ample rainfall and food source and a good weather season.

    In Nova Scotia the rivers, and is very rich in plants and soil.


  2. Many of the small mammals could be breeding, increasing the population. Here are other examples: Food, Predators, Competitors, Parasites, Temperature, Oxygen availability, Light availability, Toxins and pollutants. -Chase B.

  3. The weather, food available, and the growth of the population are factors that contribute to the population.


  4. The amount of food, the growth of a population, and weather could affect the population.
    Factors specific to Nova Scotia is the excess of plant life and rivers.


  5. Contributes to the population are food growth and supply, weather conditions, predators, etc.

    -Ben Abeyta

  6. Factors that fluctuate population of small mammals could be that, in Nova Scotia there is an abundant amount of plant life which comes from the rich source of rivers.
    The amount of food and good weather spells can fluctuate the populations


  7. A couple of factors that could cause small mammal populations to flucuate are an increase in the population of various predators and the availability of food.
    -Jesse A.

  8. in nova scotia it could flood the animals houses and freeze to long and spring will not come. also spring could come to soon and not have enough food. global warming is at the heart of most problems

  9. the weather food and population growth are factors that contribute to the population.

  10. Hi Mr. Greenslate,

    Some things that could affect the population are the weather, depending if its good or bad, and rainfall. Another thing that affects is the population increasing.

    ~Riannan A. (:

  11. Maybe its because the animals that should be eating the smaller animals are dyeing off, or the weather change, or the change in food available.


  12. I researched but i didn't find nothing else to write for my post. They post it already.

  13. Food availability, and weather change.


  14. Population of small mammals may fluctuate due to weather changes and an increase/decrease in food.

    - Nicole

  15. The food accessible and available to them, also the weather plays a major role. Also if some drastic unfamiliar weather change occurs it would most likely result to many deaths to these defenseless small creatures living in nova scotia.
    - Makai:)

  16. things that contribute to the population are food supply, climate, (and sometimes it could be a seasonal thing)


  17. There are both good and bad factors that could contribute to the fluctuation of small mammal population. Good factors, like increased food supply because of a good rainy season, would benefit the population. Bad factors, like a long drought, would make eating harder for the population. Both make the population fluctuate.

    >> Heather O'Connell

  18. Some things that contribute to the population are the weather and the food availability

  19. The amount of food that the animals have.

  20. they need good weather and good food

  21. The breeding season and the food if there is not enough.

    - Arnold Flores

  22. Populations of small mammals fluctuate due to changes in climate, seasonal changes, food availability, and the amount of predators in the area.

    -Alex Clay

  23. well if the aniamls mate more and get more food and this will increase pop but if they run out of food that will decrease the pop


  24. Some factors that contribute heavily are temperature changes, as well as predator populations, and abundances of food sources

  25. A variety of factors could affect small mammal population, including weather, availability of food, the population of predators, and the condition of their habitats.


  26. climate and food availability

  27. There are a lot of factors that affect the small animal population such as the food, their predators, and weather.


  28. A factor could be the expansion of civilization.

    ~Janet A.

  29. Since these small animals are dying off, possibly smaller ones are too, so that could of messed up the food cycle for these small mice.

  30. Well water, food, weather, population

    In Nova Scotia its the rivers and plants and soil