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Camera traps in the Lehigh Forest, Fall 2015

General ecology students installed two camera traps in the Lehigh University Experimental Forest.  The image tally after recording for about six weeks: one fox, one raccoon, one chipmunk, 2 domestic cats, 18 squirrels, and 38 deer.  Some highlights…

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Female white-tailed deer searching for vegetation on Halloween.

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A second female white-tailed deer rechecking the area.

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Male white-tailed deer a few days earlier

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“Fox went out on a chilly night…”

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Rocky

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Yes, you can see a black cat at night.

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Must be some native vegetation back here somewhere.

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A deer can’t live on Japanese Barberry alone.

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Wow.

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There has not been any tree recruitment here for decades.

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Out for a noon-time stroll.  Looking for lunch.

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Another picture of the same male.

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An ecosystem modeller with the EES-80 class!

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Still hungry.

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Nope, no native birds here.

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Not a very large forest fragment.

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Time for a selfie.

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Captured on the way to download the camera traps!

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“It only gets a little deeper” (Pymatuning wetlands 2015, day 3)

Best picture of me ever.

Best picture of me ever.

In the morning the Pymatuning wetland students continued learning about wetland hydrology, particularly how different wetland types are defined by differences in hydrology, including differences in hydroperiod, water source, and hydrodynamics. We also discussed how ecosystem processes like decomposition, primary production, and nutrient cycling are affected by differences in hydrology. Things then got a bit peaty, with a discussion of some of the unique features of peatland hydrology.

The students learned how to setup and launch data-logging pressure transducers, and suspended these in PVC surface wells in preparation for our fieldwork in the afternoon. We also setup four camera traps and brainstormed a bit about how we wanted to position them to assess differences in animal activity within a few microhabitats in a marsh. They clearly want to “capture” a muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus).

Installing a well in Pymatuning Creek Marsh.

Installing a well in Pymatuning Creek Marsh.

Pressing Onoclea sensibilis.

Pressing Onoclea sensibilis.

We spent most of the afternoon at Pymatuning Creek Marsh in Ohio. It was a sunny and warm day in the field, although the deer flies were particularly abundant and thirsty. We all donated a little energy to the ecosystem, but it was well worth it for the opportunity to add so many plants to our “must-know” list. The marsh was very dry this year, and walking through it was much easier than in years past; however, a few students did manage to find the holes in the muck. We installed wells in areas characterized by different vegetation, including an area with abundant spatterdock and standing water, and an area dominated by willow shrubs. The students also mounted camera traps in different microhabitats, and began their plant collections. We returned to the lab to press plants.

Tomorrow we will return to the marsh to collect quantitative data on the plant communities along a moisture gradient…

 

Camera traps, June 2014

Velvet-covered antlers in the Lehigh Experimental Forest.

Velvet-covered antlers in the Lehigh Experimental Forest.

More data from the Lehigh Experimental Forest camera traps. Our complete list of “trapped” species since October now includes:

  • Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed hawk)
  • Canis lupus familiaris (Domestic dog)
  • Felis catus (Domestic cat)
  • Homo sapiens (Human)
  • Marmota monax (groundhog)
  • Meleagris gallopavo (wild turkey)
  • Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed deer)
  • Procyon lotor (Raccoon)
  • Sciurus carolinensis (Gray squirrel)
  • Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern cottontail)
  • Tamias striatus (Eastern chipmunk)
  • Turdus migratorius (American Robin)
  • Vulpes vulpes (Red fox)

A few highlights from the two video cameras (wild turkey at the end!):

 

Pictures from the camera traps (November 2013)

Camera trap.

Camera trap.

More data from the Lehigh Experimental Forest camera traps have arrived. Our complete list of “trapped” species since October 2013 now includes:

Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed hawk)
Canis lupus familiaris (Domestic dog)
Felis catus (Domestic cat)
Homo sapiens (Human)
Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed deer)
Procyon lotor (Raccoon)
Sciurus carolinensis (Gray squirrel)
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern cottontail)
Tamias striatus (Eastern chipmunk)
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)
Vulpes vulpes (Red fox)

The new species during this sampling interval (click images to enlarge)

Tamias striatus (Eastern chipmunk).

Tamias striatus (Eastern chipmunk).

Turdus migratorius (American Robin).

Turdus migratorius (American Robin).

The highlight during this sampling interval. Bubo virginianus (Great horned owl).

The highlight during this sampling interval! That is a big bird!  When I first examined the image, I thought I saw ear tufts which would indicate that this was Bubo virginianus (Great horned owl). However, the mottled white patches on the shoulders and the dark lines in the tail are consistent with a juvenille red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Although I still see tufts on the head, these may be the result of blur caused by the motion of the bird.

Canis lupus familiaris (Domestic dog). Almost certainly belongs to a hiker, and not a regular, independent visitor to the forest like the Felix catus that returns frequently.

Canis lupus familiaris (Domestic dog) that almost certainly belongs to a hiker. Not a regular, independent visitor to the forest like the Felis catus that returns frequently. At first I didn’t see it in this image.

(Eastern Cottontail)

Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)

Homo sapiens (humans). This appears to be a bald ecologist and his assistant examining the deer exclosures.

Homo sapiens (humans). This appears to be an aging ecologist and his young  assistant examining the deer exclosures. 🙂

A few nice images of previous visitors

A nice shot of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) on its way to somewhere else.

A nice shot of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) on its way to somewhere else.

You can count the ticks on this one.

You can count the ticks on this one. Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)

These guys have a party in the Experimental Forest every night. Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed deer)

These guys have a party in the Experimental Forest every night (see video at end). Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed deer).

This individual is in charge of the place at night. Felix cats (domestic cat).

This individual is in charge of the place at night. Likes to hunt from the downed trees. Felis catus (domestic cat).

We had one camera recording video this time. Below is a video of the feast that occurs every night. No surprise that there has been virtually no tree recruitment for decades…

First pictures from the camera traps!

We set up a few camera traps in the Lehigh Experimental Forest about ten days ago. The primary purpose of these traps will be to provide information on deer herbivory (for undergraduate Bob Mason’s research) and for students in the Ecology (EES-152) class to estimate diversity and the relative population sizes of medium-sized and large mammals. Below are some pictures of the species we “trapped” in our first ten days…

Many pictures of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

We obtained MANY pictures of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), representing both sexes and a range of age classes. With careful analyses, we may be able to apply mark-and-recapture approaches to estimate population sizes.

A few pictures of racoons (Procyon lotor)

A few racoons (Procyon lotor) were “trapped.”

Plenty of gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).

Plenty of gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).

We captured a few nice pictures of this fox (gray or red?)

My favorite. We captured a few nice pictures of this fox (gray or red?)

Ugh.  Didn't expect this, but I'm not surprised. The infamous Felis catus.

Ugh. Didn’t expect this, but I’m not surprised. The infamous Felis catus. This individual showed up on this fallen tulip poplar on several nights.

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