Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bears are back

April marked the return of black bears from their winter hibernation across most of our study area.  We delayed the start of our winter camera trapping to avoid bear hunters and their teams of hound dogs.  Now the return of bears marks the end of our 5 month campaign.

We had trouble before with pesky coyotes stealing our skunk bait, so bears take being a hungry disruptive scavenger to another level.

Not to mention the return of hordes of vultures from their tropical overwintering grounds to the south.

Besides, deer carcasses were getting putrid fast in the warm spring sun and a little hard to come by on the side of the road.

Over the next couple of weeks I will pull of all of our camera traps and produce a final tally of the spotted skunk camera captures, to be followed shortly thereafter by starting to analyze data from this first year of the study to gain insights in the distribution of spotted skunks in western Virginia.