Hello, I'm Ms. Davis. Join me as I travel to Nova Scotia to study mammals!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

More Scat!

In the last scat video, we worked in a small area of 10m x 10m. After we finished one small area, we would move to the next small area and do the same process again. In this video, we walked a mile down a transect and looked for many different types of scat. We found coyote, deer, hare, porcupine, and raccoon. We also looked for other evidence of mammals such as burrows, food stores, trees being chewed by porcupines and tracks. Why do you think we are using two different methods to find mammals? What does each method tell a scientist?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Why are we picking up the Snowshoe Hare scat?
What can the amount of scat tell us about the population?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cooks Lake

Today we set traps at Cooks Lake, which is a very different habitat than East Port. There are mice, voles, meadow and woodland jumping mice, as well as bog lemming at this site. This area looks more open and less dense than East Port. Using our mark and recapture method, we tallied up our total number of Mice and Voles at East Port to be about 22 per hectare (100m x 100m).
In Cooks Lake, we also put traps in two different areas: meadow and woodland. Where do you think we will catch the most mammals in the meadow or wooded sections of Cooks Lake and also how many organisms do you think we will find at this site? Sorry the pictures posted out of order. The first picture is of the woodland site at Cooks Lake. The second is of the East Port Site. The third is of the meadow site at Cooks Lake and the last is another of the East Port site. Look online to see what habitats mice, voles, and lemmings might prefer.


Over the weekend we headed to the main city of Nova Scotia, Halifax. We walked around in the snow and wind, and got to see the citadel where British soldiers used to be stationed in the 1700's. They also have a suspension bridge that looks just like the golden gate. We also went to Kejimkujik National Park and saw an old growth hemlock grove of trees that was about 350-450 years old.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vole vs Deer Mouse

Today we caught more rodents! We have been trapping at this site for 2 days and will try to catch more mammals tomorrow morning, before moving on to the next site at Cooks lake. We trapped 2 mice and 2 vole in the morning and 3 vole in the afternoon for a total of seven mammals. Yesterday, we caught 2 mice and 1 vole in the morning and 3 vole in the afternoon. What does this tell you about the vole population (think about times caught)? What about the population of deer mice? The area that we are measuring is a 50 meter by 100 meter area. Can you estimate the population density of the site and explain your reasoning?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Vole and I

The Vole and I

Today we caught some mammals! Two mice and four voles (small rodents).
In my transect, I caught the only female mouse of the day! It is a deer mouse. In this video, I am helping to determine the gender and the weight of a vole. It was a female. We then took them back to the site where we caught the mammals and released them so they could find their way back home. We put the mice and voles into mazes when releasing them to determine how smart they are. How would we determine whether they are smart though a maze? Would they go fast or slow? Do you think the mice and voles are smart this time of year? Why? Why does Dr. Christina Bueshing cut the fur of the vole we are about to release?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making Traps

Today we made traps to try and catch our first mice and voles. Our goal is to find the population density of these mammals in an area called east port. We first filled the traps with hay and food and set them out over night. How many do you think we will catch? We wanted to put the traps in places where the mice or voles might be. Where do you think that is? Can you think like a mouse? We will be checking the traps two times a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Why do you think that is?

Monday, March 28, 2011

History of Nova Scotia

Here is a short clip on the history of Nova Scotia with one of our scientists Chris Newman


Looking for scat!

We also learned a lot about the mammals that we will be tracking here and practiced looking at and recognizing scat. What mammals do you think I will be seeing here and why is it important to study mammals?

Hi from Nova Scotia!

Hi Ladies,
I arrive safely after a long flight and am getting used to the time difference. (4 hours earlier)
It is pretty cold here about 0 degrees celsius and lots of cold wind. Here I am all bundled up in many layers.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Can you find where I am going?
I am in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Hi Girls,
I am packing up to leave. What should I bring?