Yolanda Barba Gutiérrez's Diary
Mammals of Nova Scotia

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June 29, 2009: Why Mammals?

Gutierrez_on_site Ecology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the distribution and abundance of organisms and their interactions with their environment. According to this definition, how do mammals play a relevant role inside this science, and why is it important to monitor mammals? First of all, diversity. Second, they are protected by international law. Third, they are indicator species for climate change, habitat management and environmental population. This research process can be carried out based on direct or indirect methods that we are going to put into practice during this expedition. Today we have had our first experience in the field: we have seen porcupine, frogs, a red belly snake and deer!! We have also started to recognize sign (animal droppings) in the field. So far, we can recognize droppings from fox, coyote and porcupine. These signs can be a useful tool to develop a good study about mammal populations in the remaining days. All this experience is taking place in an incredible natural environment between Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian forest.
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Yolanda Barba Gutiérrez, casthouse process engineer Avilés smelter, Spain