Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Answers to your questions!


Hello boys and girls! You did a very good job of answering my questions so I will attempt in this post to give you more information and answer your questions. When I told you that I was trying to catch a vole, I was hoping you would ask me what it is. A vole is a rodent that looks very similar to a mouse except that a vole has a shorter tail, no whiskers, and very small ears compared to a mouse. I have posted a picture of a vole below for you to look at. This is a vole that was caught in one of our traps this morning. Our scientist, Christina is holding this vole right now. My partner, Caroline and I actually caught this vole in one of our traps. We caught the first mammal of the expedition and we were very proud of that. In fact, we caught two animals in our traps this morning, this red backed vole and a deer mouse. Below is a picture of me holding the vole that we trapped this morning! I was kind of scared at first but voles are very mild mannered and didn't mind being handled too much. Caroline was in charge of taking the mouse out of our trap. I'm very glad that I didn't have to do that job! The mouse was running all over the plastic bag and did not want to be caught. Please remember that we did not hurt these animals in any way and that we don't hurt them when we hold them by the scruff of their necks.

You also answered my question about the maze boxes. I will explain the maze boxes in more detail in my next post when I explain to you what we did today.

My next question asked why we trap animals and why did we need so many traps. We trap these small mammals for a variety of reasons. For this expedition, the main reason we are trapping is to learn about what effect climate change is having on the animal population. We study these small mammals like mice and voles because they are at the very bottom of the food chain, meaning that a lot of animals like to eat them. There is also usually a large number of these animals because they breed all summer and can have lots of babies. By trapping and finding out about how many mice occupy an area at a time, we can begin to see patterns year after year. If one summer we trap 100 mice, but the next summer we trap 20, we can see the pattern and can look for reasons about why this is happening. The scientists we are working with believe this is due to climate change. We use so many traps so that we can try and get the most accurate count of the population that we can.

Finally, you asked me about the time zone here and the weather. I am two hours ahead of Iowa. For example, in Iowa, right now it is 9:15pm. In Nova Scotia right now, it is 11:15pm and I should be getting to bed soon! :) As for the weather, today was the best day we have had so far. It was absolutely gorgeous all day today and sunny. It was about 50 degrees and I even got a little sunburned today!

Please check my other post from tonight to learn about what we did today and to look at some more pictures from our expedition. I have inserted a picture of my friend Caroline (who is from England and is very interesting to talk to) holding the mouse that we caught in our trap today.

27 Comments:

At April 16, 2009 at 2:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, off the record.. do you have Herky with you? If you do, take a picture of it and send it to KCCI. They're posting places where he goes!

It was great to SKYPE with you this morning.The kids are writing individual comments to you via this website, so look for them. What a terrific experience! Mrs. Hamilton

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs.Quam I am so happy to know you are having fun!Were are you staying?

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi mis.Quam Are you haveing fun? I miss you! Love,britt

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mis.Quam! Are the vole!

Love.Aidan

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

what time is it at nova scotia? keri

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Mrs. Quam

i have 1 quraston what is your favret mamai you have seen? you trap the animals so you can do reacher on them you have so many traps so you can cach more of them.

adam

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

we hop you have a good time at nova scotia we will hop you come soon.






love,Makayla

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs.Quam
Have you seen different type of animals there?Have you seen a phython?Can you send us a picture of your house cabin thing?see you soon

From.Katherine And Tyler Bye

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs.Quam can you send a picture of a deer. Were are you living?



william

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs.Quam
Gabby and $yd wanted to know what your favorite
part was. $yd and Gab also wanted to know what your favorite animle was?
From Gabby and $yd

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What time do you get up in the morning. Can you send a picture of your hotel room? From Nathan.

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi MRS Quam it is Brennden
What malls do you like so far!

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,Mrs.Quam
What is going on?Can you send us a picter of a
deer?What cand of mannal are you seeing today?

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs.Quam.I want to know where you are you are staying while you are at NOVA SCOCHA.What is a deer mouse...
taylor.

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs.Quam do you have your own room? Do you stay at a hottel?Are you having fun?


Josie

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs. Quam how is it at nova scosha? today
we arned 3 wows today for being qiete. Do you live in a caben? Are you haveing fun? The first picher I thoght it was a snack


from Jayna

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What time do you get up in the morning Mrs.Quam?
What kind of food do you eat in Nova Scotia.


Matthew

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello Mrs.Quam I liked skipeing with you this morning. Is it posible to

have a vole for a pet?
Morgan

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Mrs.Quam

What is your favrit mamlla I like doing
this.

from.dylan

 
At April 16, 2009 at 2:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs.Quam what is your favorite part? Did you thing the vole was cool?
Kara

 
At April 18, 2009 at 9:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. Quam,
what is that thing in the voles stomach? It looks like a needle.

keri

 
At April 18, 2009 at 9:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you really holding that Vole?!!? Impressive, Mrs. Quam! Next stop - NEW YORK CITY to trap the subway rats please! And the apartment mice. :) Looks like you're having a great time, I'm so proud of you!

xoxo,
Jyni

 
At April 19, 2009 at 7:50 PM , Blogger Mrs. Quam said...

Dear Jyni-

I'm so glad that you have been checking my blog...I hope you are learning a lot. Although I have been enjoying this experience, there is NO WAY I will be coming to NYC to trap subway rats! Can't wait to see you in May!

 
At April 19, 2009 at 7:53 PM , Blogger Mrs. Quam said...

Dear Mrs. Hamilton-

I did not bring a Herky to take pictures of him. If I did have a Herky, I would bury it and leave it in Nova Scotia, or let the scientists' dog have it as a toy. I should have brought a stuffed Cy...I thought about doing that when I was sitting on my plane.

I hope everything is going well for you. I have enjoyed SKYPING with the class a lot. thanks for keeping up with the blog...I really appreciate what you are doing for me while I'm away!

 
At April 19, 2009 at 7:57 PM , Blogger Mrs. Quam said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At April 20, 2009 at 6:35 AM , Blogger Mrs. Quam said...

Hi Second Graders-

I have answered most of your questions in my blog so if you want to know the answers, go back and check it out. However, there is one question that I didn't answer which is Keri's question. The thing on the vole's stomach that looks like a needle is just a pine needle that was stuck to its fur. We fill their traps with hay, dry leaves, and pine needles.

I hope this answers your questions...please keep posting because I love to hear from you!

Mrs. Quam :)

 
At April 20, 2009 at 6:39 AM , Blogger Mrs. Quam said...

Hi Second Graders-

I have answered most of your questions in my blog so if you want to know the answers, go back and check it out. However, there is one question that I didn't answer which is Keri's question. The thing on the vole's stomach that looks like a needle is just a pine needle that was stuck to its fur. We fill their traps with hay, dry leaves, and pine needles.

I hope this answers your questions...please keep posting because I love to hear from you!

Mrs. Quam :)

 

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