Celebrating the Skunk
Now with multimedia! Here are some Quicktime videos of the critters we caught this weekend. First up, the skunk in the trap, getting a bit edgy as we get closer to it to let it out. We released it by sneaking up on the trap behind a blue tarpand putting the tarp over the trap— skunks don’t spray in a confined space. We then opened the trap and set up a track plate in front of the exit, which is the black box you see in the video below. The track plate contains a black substance that the animal walks through, and then some sticky paper that they walk over, leaving tracks that can be saved. Tracks are one of the main ways to survey mammals, so these tracks can serve as a control for spotted skunks. Awww, isn’t he cute? Finally, we got some awseome footage as we released the ringtail (again through a track plate), and it pretty much tramples the student with the camera. If you keep watching, you will see it cross the river. Pretty kick ass, I must say. I have been trying to see these animals for several years, to see both of them on the same day and get such great footage is really amazing.