After the Walk
We had a really interesting talk with Christina today about the work they do in England studying badgers. She did a Powerpoint presentation about what we will be doing and how the data we will collect is used. She also did a lesson on identifying scat (poop) of different animals. While it may sound gross, it was very interesting, and we were obviously good students. On the walk we took along the coast, we were able to identify several types of scat. We also saw tracks of deer, mink, and raccoon. The picture shows the raccoon. The best part was the sighting of a porcupine in a tree. Lycos let us know it was there. He is kept on a leash, but he is good at letting us know if anything interesting is in the area. Christina told us that if Lycos goes behind her and make quiet barking sounds there is a bear in the area. Lycos doesn't like bears! On the walk, which by the way was 9 km long (how long is that in miles?) Christina found some raccoon scat. We were able to see that it had grass and seeds and sand in it. Apparently the raccoons like to eat worms, which eat sand. Then one of the team members spotted some porcupine scat. You can identify that two ways. One type of scat is held together with bark and looks like a string of pearls. The other type looks like cheese doodles! If you look closely, you can see the porcupine in the tree. Remember, if you click on the picture you can enlarge it. Porcupines will sleep in trees. At this time of year they can't find enough grass, so they are stripping trees of their bark. This can be fatal for the tree if the bark is stripped all the way around. We're all tired from the walk and the fresh air. Much of the walk was on VERY rocky coast as you can see in the picture, so our legs had a real workout! However, the walk was beautiful, and the day was nice and sunny. What a great start to our adventure! We came home, had a nice supper, and there was ice cream for desert. Now everyone is busy communicating with their families or updating blogs. Tomorrow we will learn how to prepare and set our small mammal traps. Here's another question boys and girls. Why is it so important to know how well small mammals are doing in an ecosystem? HINT: Think about what we studied in chapter 4. Great job on the time answer Lorlei and Jefferson. We were scheduled to eat at 6:00! It turned out to be more like 7:30, because our walk was long. I hope you are all enjoying the blog!