By Aleah Jaeger, Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project Coordinator & Alaina Kowitz, Communications and Outreach Associate
It’s springtime in the Pacific Northwest, and that means our remote camera monitoring field season is about to begin!
Our snow-tracking season wrapped up successfully, with better conditions than last year. Highlights include beaver tracks, pairs of coyote tracks traveling together, and bobcat tracks seeming to indicate an individual trying to cross I-90. Keep an eye out for our 2015-16 Snow Tracking Report, which will be posted on the Conservation Northwest website within the next month.
Another exciting winter finding is this photo of a wolverine, taken at a year-round remote camera site managed by two of our very dedicated and long-term volunteers. Two different individual wolverines visited the site this winter, and our volunteers were able to collect genetic samples to be analyzed.
May was filled with volunteer trainings, both in Cle Elum for our Cascade wildlife monitoring efforts and in Kettle Falls for lynx monitoring in northeast Washington. The weather was not as cooperative as we would have liked, but this season’s volunteers are unstoppable, and we successfully prepared teams for a summer of field work, despite rain in the Cascades and some serious wind at Sherman Pass.
Some of our citizen scientists have already spent a day or two in the field installing their remote cameras. Others are preparing to head out as soon as possible, weather-permitting.
This year the program will monitor for grizzly bears in the North Cascades, wolves south of I-90, wolverines in the Cascades, general wildlife along I-90 between Hyak and Easton, and transboundary lynx in the Kettle Crest and Rossland ranges. We're excited to see what we find!
Please support this important program! Consider adopting a monitoring team with a donation.
We're starting to ramp up lynx monitoring efforts in northeast Washington; with subalpine peaks and old-growth forests, the Colville National Forest and the Kettle Crest mountain range extending up to British Columbia offer prime lynx habitat. However, the area has been studied very little in regards to monitoring the presence of this endangered cat.
In collaboration with researchers from Washington State University and with help from our diligent volunteers, we hope to gain a better understanding of lynx populations in this beautiful corner of Washington.
Project adviser Dave Moskowitz demonstrates how to set up a run pole for
wolverine monitoring volunteers.
Aleah and Dan Thornton of WSU begin lynx monitoring training on the Kettle Crest.
Many thanks to our volunteers for their time, energy, and enthusiasm, to our Advisory Council for their help planning the season, and to our remote camera sponsors for their generosity in helping fund the program.
We're looking forward to a successful and exciting monitoring season ahead!