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Welcome to Riverswind notes

I hope you will join in my adventures here in Humboldt County and elsewhere as I explore nature & people.

I welcome your comments.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Red Tree Vole and Fisher Captured on Camera

After over 2 months my friend Chris Wemmer returned to Humboldt County to check his Camera traps.

We were both excited about the possibilities of capturing on camera these sought after mammals as we drove to the Green Diamond Wildlife Office in Korbel, California less than 15 minutes from my home.

Chris used his GPS to find the exact spot that each camera had been previously set. Upon arrival at the first set which was the large Douglas Fir tree on the slope below the dirt road adjacent to the Mad River, we went to work gathering the necessary gear, ladder and this time Chris put on a climbing harness to secure him to the tree while removing the camera. He climbed the tree and removed the camera in less than 10 minutes and lowered it down in a canvas bag attached to a rope.
He uploaded the photos into his PC on the tailgate of my pickup and realized that he had captured the prize.

There it was the Red Tree Vole (Arborimus pomus) one of the main prey species of the Spotted Owl caught by camera trap. Excited would be putting it mildly because to Chris it was more like winning the lottery.

We were off to the next set to see if our luck would continue and even more excited now that we had our first prize.

                              Chris Wemmer setting a cameratrap in hollow stump

The next set was in a hollowed out Redwood stump that measured 38.5 feet in circumference and had an inside diameter of 12 – 15 feet by 7 feet. The floor inside the stump was 7 feet below the outside surrounding soil due to years of organic detritus buildup.
Upon checking the results Chris found that he captured a variety of species including, Bobcat, Grey Fox, Black Bear, Virginia Opossum, Brush Rabbit, Wood Rat, Deer Mouse, Shrew( sp. undetermined), and a Hermit Thrush. Since some of the photos were not the best Chris decided to set up two cameras at this set to capture the quarry at different angles.
The new set would face into one of the 3 openings hoping to frame a mammal
entering the stump. 
The third set would be even more exciting because it would be another first for Chris in his attempt to get most all of the California mammals by Camera trap. 
In fact it is a mammal rarely seen by humans due to it's reclusive nature.
The Fisher (Martes pennanti) is a medium size mammal with a tail as long as it's body in the Mustelid family.  You will be able to see it eventually by going here.
While Chris was here he fixed my camera trap and found a short in the circuitry.
Thanks to him I am back in business.


Anonymous said...

Awesome! Great to spy on all the life that happens beyond the scope of ordinary human eyes.

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