Follow my blog as I explore the mammals of Nova Scotia!

Monday, April 12, 2010

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!


At April 12, 2010 at 9:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At April 13, 2010 at 8:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

to me the animals dropping seems that it could be a racoons or a porcupines. I say this because it is too small to be a moose or a deer so i must guess that it is a smaller animals dropping.

At April 13, 2010 at 10:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're having fun looking for porkupines! Avoid the spines please sue! And as for the challenge... It's gotta be a bear or a monkey right? or is it a human? *DUN UN!!!!*-SH

At April 13, 2010 at 11:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think it was an otter. They are costal crestures and have five toes PS. did you see
what was in the scat, like bones or shells or was is ... well just scat?


At April 13, 2010 at 2:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sue, when you return you will be the new resident expert in scat. All matters dealing with scat will start and end with you. P.S. is the scat easier to identify by size, shape, content, smell, taste or texture? I will anxiously await your reply. -JK


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