We’ve been without an update for awhile, and I apologize for that. There is always a lot going on, and on top of that we’ve had some changes to our crew. Some of the crew has moved on to other things, and we’ve gotten some new faces to carry on the work we do out here.
Kevin Smith, the man responsible for a majority of the posts you’re read on this blog (and some of the more interesting stories), has moved on to another project after being with us for 2.5 years. Kevin is an amazing worker, and was a pleasure to have on the crew. He helped us all out continuously, and his insight into where our animals were and what they were up to helped the project run its smoothest. Kevin will continue to do great things working with Pete Figura at the California Department of Fish & Wildlife on their Sierra Nevada Red Fox Project:
The primary study objective is to “investigate and document Sierra Nevada red fox habitat use, reproduction, health, survival, and diet in order to identify factors limiting the its recovery in the Lassen Peak region of northern California.”
Through the use of radio collars that transmit daily location information to satellites, we should be able to track captured red foxes year-round with a high degree of accuracy. As a result, we hope to identify den locations, monitor reproduction and kit survival, improve knowledge of habitat use and diet throughout all seasons, identify migration routes, and determine causes of mortality. By taking blood and other samples from each animal captured, we will be able to determine whether they are infected with or have been previously exposed to several ecologically important diseases (e.g., canine distemper, parvoviruses, canine herpesvirus, Toxoplasma gondii) known to affect mesocarnivores in northern California.
We’d also like to welcome Andria Townsend, Julie Shaw, and Jesse Hogg to the crew. They’ve been with us for several months now, and they’re doing a great job of keeping us in data! Stop over to the Field Crew page and learn a little about them. You’ll be hearing from them regularly this year, and we’ve got some cool things coming!
Thanks for stopping in,