Please travel with me to Nova Scotia to study Mammals and Climate Change!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day Four

Meet Burt.

Burt is the first vole my partner and I caught today.Voles have a lot of neck skin and when you hold them by it, it is just like a mother vole does with her baby.  Don't worry!  It doesn't hurt them at all.

Trapping Small Mammals

Trapping voles helps us see how many live in the forest and how healthy the forest is.
Yesterday, we set 100 traps in the forest.

To do this, we had to think like mice do. We know that mice like to stay hidden, so we tried to find the most hidden parts of the forest: usually along the sides of boulders, under low hanging branches, and in the middle of a bunch of small trees. Can you see where I hid the trap in this picture?  Look carefully!

I am proud to report that we found ALL of our traps today and we caught 7 voles. 5 of them were new voles and 2 of them got trapped twice. We checked our traps twice today and we will check them twice again tomorrow and the morning after that.

When we catch a vole, we measure it and then we give it a little haircut before we let it go. This way, if we catch it again, we will notice its haircut and we won't count it twice.  Here is a video of Dr. Buesching marking Burt with scissors:

This is how we knew we had caught the same vole again in the afternoon. He had the same haircut we gave him in the morning. Hopefully, Burt stays out of the traps for a while. I know the hay and grain and apple make a nice place to visit, but we would rather meet new voles.

Room 5, thank you for answering my scat challenge questions yesterday! You were very close. The answers to yesterday's challenge were A) porcupine B) coyote C) raccoon and D) snowshoe hare. The reason "A" is porcupine scat is because it comes in two shapes. Sometimes it looks like cheetos and sometimes it looks like a pearl necklace. You can't see the pearl necklace very well in the picture I gave you, but here is a good shot. The "string" holding it together is really shredded bark. Today, please record in your expedition field journals that I saw another red squirrel and 5 voles. I hope you're having a great week!

Tonight, it is supposed to snow.  If it doesn't, we will go watch beavers tomorrow and do bat research!

1 comment:

  1. Today, room 5 recorded the voles and red squirrel Ms. Blemker saw. So far Ms. Blemker has seen 16 white-tailed, 5 voles, 1 porcupine and 4 red squirrels. Amazing!