Paul Smelter's Diary
Mammals of Nova Scotia

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July 9, 2009: Full traps

Jumping_mouse The day started as usual: breakfast first up and then on the bus for about 40 minutes on the way to Cook's Lake for a short day checking our traps to see how we go. Boy, what a day we had with trapping! We came across jumping mice (times three,) chipmunks (both recaptures) and a couple of voles. All the mammals we captured today seem tobe in very good health, but overall our number of mice and voles were down. On the other hand, we had a greater number of chipmunks. With the final check complete, we packed up our station and traps to return to the bus to have lunch. Then off to Cherry Hill Beach for a survival session in the wild. We had to start a fire with a twig with rope and a piece of timber set up like a bow -- not much success. Then Chris showed us how to set a trap to capture small animals to eat if you are lost for a long time. Then we took a stroll along the beach and finally got a view of the Atlantic Ocean. (Mostly the weather here has been overcast or very foggy, so it was good finally to see out a long way.) Then back to the house to see if we had captured images on our field cameras. There were indeed some great shots, a raccoon and some deer, but they came from the other teams' cameras, not ours ... we believe it had not been working from the start. Now Chris is getting dinner ready, so I have time to jot down a few notes. In all it's been a very successful day with the results to go through tomorrow morning before we head off to another national park (Randall ). As to why we had a good day with the traps, we wonder if it might be due to the improvement in the weather. Maybe we will get an answer after the next team goes through the same process next year. I will keep in touch with our team leaders over the year to see how the results go and then maybe we'll have some sort of idea.
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Paul Smelter, maintenance technician Pt Henry smelter, Victoria, Australia