Our last visit to our permanent South Fork site occurred on April 21. We totaled 45 new rabbits tagged and 6 recaps from 2016. My friend, Danielle, from the Applied Population Ecology lab at UNR joined me on the night of the 21st to start trapping Jiggs. My new technician, Hannah, got to Elko on April 25th when we could finally do the second visit to Jiggs and we did pretty well! Plus, Hannah, who is from Ohio, got to hold her first pygmy rabbit! After that, we had to stop trapping for 5 days while it snowed, hailed, rained buckets and was windy and cold beyond what we could handle. But it finally passed and we were able to trap again on the morning of the 30th! It did rain again last night/this morning (May 1st), so we had to pass on trapping again, but we're hoping with how good the weather was today, that it will stay this way long enough for us to finish trapping at Jiggs, a one-year Jiggs adjacent site, and hopefully a site up north a ways.
As I write this, I am running the final model for density estimates for South Fork in 2016 and 2017, which will be revealed at the American Society of Mammalogists meeting this year in Moscow, ID! Also, today (May 1st), Hannah and I did a complete burrow survey of South Fork to finish out this 2017 year at that permanent site. Eventually, we want to compare burrow densities to densities of trapped rabbits at all trapped sites, but especially we want to compare burrow densities over time to trapping densities over time.
Stay tuned for how trapping the rest of Jiggs goes!
Field work updates
A place to update on happenings in the field throughout the year. Sites visited. Status of the sagebrush-steppe. Samples collected. Milestones in lab work. Rabbits trapped. Pictures!