Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Small Mammal Trapping

Hello Everyone! I was so happy to come back from the field today and find comments on my blog! I was very pleased with the answers to my questions...you are very close! In Nova Scotia I have the possibility of seeing many animals however, I am most likely to see deer, mice, vole, chipmunks, porcupines, raccoon, beaver, hare, and otter. If I am lucky, it is also possible for me to see a moose and a black bear, but seeing those are unlikely. As of right now, I have seen no mammals! It has been very disappointing but hopefully our luck changes soon!

As for the droppings, Makayla is correct, the droppings show what kind of animals are in the area. However, we want to look for droppings and count the number of droppings that we see to help us predict the population of each species of animal. By looking at droppings, we can determine what effect climate change is having on the different populations of animals. I will talk more about this tomorrow because we will be doing some dropping counts and I will share with you what I learn.

The track you identified is correct...it is a fresh deer track that we found in the mud along the coast.

Today we set up our small mammal traps. We put together 100 traps and set them all over in the forest. We now have to check them twice everyday to see if we have trapped any small mammals like mice and voles. Why do you think it is important for us to trap these small mammals? Why do you think we set up so many? The first couple of pictures show me preparing a trap. First we put hay and pine needles into the trap to keep the animal warm and then we fill it with food (bird seed) and then put the trap together and set it in the forest.

We also made maze boxes for the creatures that we trap in our traps. In one of the pictures you can see me sawing wood and hammering my box together. It actually turned out well if I do say so myself! :) When we catch an animal in our trap, we are going to put them into the maze and time how long it takes for them to get through it. Why do you think that we do this? Why would the information we learn about this be important? I will give you a hint, think about adaptation. Perhaps Mrs. Hamilton can explain this a little bit but I will be discussing adaptation in more detail tomorrow.

I miss you all very much! I hope you are on your best behavior for Mrs. Hamilton. Don't forget to show your parents my blog when you are at home. :) Also, let me know if you have any questions or comments because I love hearing from you!


At April 15, 2009 at 12:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs. Quam!!!!
First question: What is a vole? Can you send us a picture of one?
Getting out of the maze question?To see how smart they are.To see if they can live in the temperature, stay away from preditors, and find food.
Why trap and why so many traps? To study them and do research on them. So many traps, gives you more animals to study.
We want to know if you are one hour or two hours ahead of our time? Is it cold there?
We're being good! We still miss you, but not as much as we did yesterday because you're one more day closer to coming back to us!

At April 15, 2009 at 8:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

More traps means more chances to catch something.

Time theing them in the maze shows how smart and adaptable they are.


At April 15, 2009 at 10:04 PM , Blogger Mrs. Quam said...

You are correct Ali! Please read my post from today to find out more. I'm glad to see you are checking this at home! :)


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