I have been slacking hardcore on updating this blog-and for that, I apologize! It has been a hectic month and a half finishing up trapping in Elko, and moving to Sheldon to begin trapping there.
The beginning of May we finished trapping our permanent site, Jiggs, and caught a total of 66 new individuals with a mere 3 recaptures from last year. It was rather disappointing that we didn't get more recaptures, but I'm hoping when we do the genetics we will find that more of our rabbits from last year are still alive and reproducing! In addition, we saw the gorgeous badger, who we named Basher, twice and got a video on the GoPro of another! We also trapped a new site that we nicknamed RZ, which is about 9 km (~30 min drive) from our permanent site. We only caught 8 rabbits there, but the density of rabbits estimated for RZ seemed pretty good!
Moving on to Hart-Sheldon on May 17, we got settled into the bunkhouse at Sheldon and immediately started setting and trapping the site on the Nevada-Oregon border. We were hoping to turn this into another permanent site, but we only caught 5 rabbits so we left it at just one session and moved on. We then trapped Big Spring and Andy's Place hoping the latter would give us great success, but unfortunately, we struck out big at both. We caught zero pygmy rabbits. At Big Spring though, we did catch 2 species of woodrats (desert and bushy-tailed) which was a first for me! We finally decided to start West Gulch, since we were tired of catching nothing, and we were rewarded with 5 rabbits our first visit, 2 of which were recaps. One of those we chased into a trap while we were checking too! It was the most incredible thing. She was a juvenile last year, and when we caught her, she was so incredibly pregnant!
Over the upcoming week, we will be finishing session 1 and session 2 at West Gulch and then I am off to ASM in Moscow, ID- my old stomping grounds!
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!