Once a trap is found in the grid with the door closed I carried it back to a central location to collect data. I recorded the trap ID (Row letter and number), next I place the entire trap inside a large clear plastic bag. I made sure to pull up my sleeve(that way the rodent doesn't use my sleeve as a tunnel to escape) and held the plastic bag closed at the top. Next, I took apart the nesting chamber from the tunnel and removed the nesting material from inside until the rodent came out. I then cornered the rodent and held it there to remove the trap and hay to leave just the rodent alone in the bag.
I identified the rodent type, next scruffed the animal and took it out of the bag to determine the gender and reproductive status(male ready to breed, female pregnant or non) and its health. Next, the researcher verified the gender and marked the animal as “Caught” by clipping some guard hairs off its thigh leaving behind a different colored hair.
That way we know if it gets caught again. Next I placed the rodent back into the bag and it was weighed.
I took the rodents in a plastic bag and the same trap was reset and with a partner the rodent and a maze was taken back to the marked site the trap was from on the grid. The rodent was placed in the maze and timed for how long it took to get out, which released it back into the wild. If the rodent took longer than 10 minutes we took the lid off the maze and let it go. What is the purpose of the maze?
Mammals today: 2 red squirrels, 3 white tail deer, 1 muskrat, 3 raccoon, 3 beaver, 2 porcupine, 2 mice and 5 voles. Weather was 40 today but windy.
Also I will be skyping with many of you Friday April 1st What are you still wondering about what I am doing here?