Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vole-O-Rama

Yes, folks it's been a week of voles.

RECAP
Last week, Nova Scotia experienced unusually cold temperatures for this time of year.  Our total count of live-trapped small mammals was: 3 red-backed voles and 1 bog lemming.

THIS WEEK
Nova Scotia is still not quite at normal temperature, but it is still significantly warmer than last week.  Our total count of live-trapped small mammals is: 9 red-backed voles and 1 field mouse.

A red-backed vole, Dr. Buesching, and me (don't make me say I)
My hypothesis, that red-backed vole counts would be smaller this year, as compared to previous years when warmer temperatures were recorded, seems to be correct.

I'll be able to confirm my findings tomorrow - our last day of the project - when I speak with all senior blocks via Skype.  Expect to have a conversation with me in Magnussen's Biology class.  Be prepared with questions!

FIFTH CHALLENGE QUESTION
all answers get credit; first right answer gets a candy bar...the winning post must clearly include the why

Even in the best of times, live-traps usually yield less catches earlier in the week than later in the week.  This is true no matter the type of area (forest, clearing, field or bog) where the trap is set.  WHY is this true?

Hint: think about who is setting the trap AND how the trap looks...


SIXTH CHALLENGE QUESTION
all answers get credit; first right answer gets a candy bar...

Scientists in the field record ALL kinds of data, live-traps are only one way to note animal presence.  Other indicators of animal presence are known as field signs.  Field signs can also be used as data for research. Besides live traps, what are other ways you can record the presence of animals in the field?  List at least THREE field signs to win.

Hint: use your five senses and think about what animals might leave behind if they pass through a natural habitat

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