Coastal Walk and Mammal Talk
Extremely busy day today. Had a talk from Dr. Buesching today on the Mammals of this area. Information learned:
*There are only 100 moose on Nova Scotia. A deer parasite has all but eradicated the moose in this area, so will not see any moose.
*There are black bear here, but very shy. You should never play dead with a bear as they eat carrion (dead animals).
*Small mammals, such as mice, voles, chipmunks, don't drink water - they get all the water they need from their food. They are very vunearable to climate change as they need to keep their litters warm and dry and when it is too wet or cold the babies die.
*Porcupines are nocturnal - feed off grass in summer and barks in winter. People often kill them because think they are nuisances as they can cause a lot of damage to trees. Don't need a very big range and only have one young at a time.
After our talk we took a 6 mile walk on the coast to look for signs of mammals. Came across a lot of footprints and scat. Above is the scat of a creature that has 5 toes and 5 fingers and washes its food in the water. Challenge: What animal do think this is?
As we continued on our walk we came across several signs of a porcupine. First we found its scat - actually almost like a rabbit's, but larger. We also found some trees where the porcupine had stripped the park. Then we found the Porcupine - up in a tree! During the day they sleep up in the trees and then come out at night to feed. He was pretty well hidden, but I was able to get a photo of his face!
After our walk we headed back to the house. Right on the side of the road was a herd of 16 white tail deer!
So today was a busy, but amazing day - tomorrow we get to learn how to set the traps for small mammals!