Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Trivia Question of the Week, and what's up next

This week's trivia question is paired with statistics for this season's fieldwork. What is the animal we saw most frequently on our trail cameras this summer?

Hint #1: This contest was pretty close, with a couple hundred pictures or so separating the first and second most frequently sighted animals.

Hint #2: In broad terms, the second most frequently sighted type of animal actually beats out the first, but in terms of species, there is one clear winner.

Hint #3: Their name starts with "B"

Hint #4: They're furry

Hint #5: If you anger them, they'll eat your face off. :)

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If you guessed Brown Bear, you're correct! You've obviously been following along with us this season. Or you know that bears will eat your face off. Either way, congratulations!

"Bears" as a broad category, was actually beat out by "birds"-- we saw more birds overall on our trail cameras than bears. Whereas the "bird" category is composed of eagles, raven, magpies, crows, mergansers, blue-winged teals, varied thrushes, and others, however, the "bears" category is all brown bears. We didn't see a single black bear on our trail cameras this season.

For our trail camera work this summer and fall, we captured:
  • 24,767 photographs, total
  • 6,605 images of bears
  • 7,841 photos of birds
  • 71 photos of canids (wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs)
  • 332 mustelid photos (mink and marten)
  • 59 photos of rodents (mice and red squirrels)
  • 94 photos of humans (not including ourselves)
  • 0 photos of lynx, wolverine, black bear, or lagamorphs (hares or rabbits), although these species all live in the area

Now that I'm headed back to Santa Cruz and our field season is over for the year, you may be wondering what's in store for the blog. Will I keep updating? What can you expect to see?

Well, by my calculations I've shared around 60 of our trail camera photos here on the blog. That means there are an additional 24,707 photos I could post! :)  I'll continue to post trail camera photos from time to time, in addition to videos I'm currently working on putting together that detail sequences of trail camera photographs, like bears or eagles feeding on the salmon carcasses.

And don't forget about our eagles! We'll continue to follow the movements of the five eagles we tagged with GPS/satellite transmitters, and we'll post these locations for you as we go along.

There are several other stories from the field that I haven't yet had time to put together into blog entries that I'm hoping to work in within the next couple of months. We're also working on putting together a fully-fledged website for Ecology Alaska. So among trail camera photos, eagle movement data, stories from our fieldwork in Haines, and perhaps a few entries detailing the life of a wildlife biologist outside of the field season, there should be plenty going on here on the blog. I imagine that the rate of posting will decrease come the beginning of the year, but I will attempt to continue posting at least one entry and one trivia question each week.

Stay tuned, and as always, feel free to let us know what you think, by leaving us a message in the comments or sending us an email at ecologyalaska [at] gmail (dot) com.

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