Short and Sweet
Answer to last week's question How does gain on the radio for telemetry affect the beep volume?. You cannot always hear the beeps when you are on certain gains. If you are very close to the collar, you should hear the beep at a very low gain. So, if you are on a low gain and no longer hear the beep then you've passed the collar and need to reassess.
Happy belated Halloween everyone! We hope you had a fun scary day!
As time goes on, Ethan and I are learning a lot from the Wildlife Ecology Institute researcher. He came back out on Monday and had us practice how to set up a trap to catch a gray fox in. It's not as simple as one might think. The trap has to be stable, the surroundings have to look natural, the loop that goes over the animal's head has to be the right size but not catch any other animal, etc. It will definitely take a few tries to get it right. No gray fox sightings yet, unfortunately. We got a lot of pictures of coyotes, deer, opossums, squirrels and birds on camera, but not the animal we are looking for! Hopefully moving cameras around will help.
We ran a few errands this week. Keeping the office clean means taking out the trash and going to the recycling center. We had been doing that before as well, but other more interesting things were going on that needed to be talked about! If you are in Madison and want to see what the refuge is all about, you can now find BONWR and BOCS pamphlets at the Madison Visitor Center to pick yourself up some brochures from their brochure kiosk.
We also got some much needed boundary posting done. If you've visited the refuge before you've probably seen some signs nailed to the trees. The signs vary in color, size, and significance. Numbered signs indicate the unit/region of the refuge you are in. The multiple different closed signs tel you that the area is closed off to the public and to hunters due to heavy unexploded ammunition from military testing in the past. Wandering into a closed area can be very dangerous and we would not want anybody getting hurt because they didn't see unexploded ammunition as they were walking along. Boundary posting is important because it keeps people in the right areas. Signs are checked regularly to make sure that they have not fallen off trees. On our adventurous boundary posting afternoon we found something weird on the back of one of the fallen signs. It is not uncommon to find things attached to signs or behind signs. This, however, we had never encountered. It looked like an egg sack of some kind, but we didn't know from what species. We were happily surprised when told they were a Praying Mantis Egg Sack! The praying mantis lays the eggs in late fall. As temperatures go from cold to hot in the spring triggers, the eggs hatch. Approximately 150 - 180 baby pray mantises can hatch! We wish them the best of luck!
Remember we want to see your pictures!
Just a cool picture on the refuge
Praying Mantis Eggs!