19 de octubre de 2018

Wolf Journal #2

Date- 9/16/2018

Location- Grid #1

Tracks Detected
Common Raccoon
Mule Deer
Mountain Lion (possible)

Wildlife Observed
Pileated Woodpecker
Stellar's Jay (2)
Chipmunk (likely yellow-pine based on elevation and location)

No wolves but we did find a possible Mountain Lion track. While the wolves of the Lassen Pack are the primary goal of our search, this is really a survey of the mammals, particularly the carnivorans, that inhabit the unique habitat of this area. This is the end of the mighty Sierra Nevada range and the start of the Cascades. It is an area of excellent biodiversity and presents opportunities to find species we have not encountered. There are not only wolves here but also Sierra Nevada Red Foxes, Fishers, American Martens, Stoats, and possibly Spotted Skunks. All of those would be lifers for us and that is really a significant reason behind our wolf study. We just want to continue seeing new species and exploring California's amazing wilderness.
A Mountain Lion is far from a lifer for me or the kids but it is always fun and exciting to be around a puma. My kids were pretty pumped up and it was a strong finish to a rather dull day on the trails.

Ingresado el 19 de octubre de 2018 por kwgeiger kwgeiger | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

11 de octubre de 2018

Wolf Journal #1

Grid 1

10/9/2018

No evidence of wolf activity was detected.

Tracks Identified
Common Raccoon
Mule Deer
American Black Bear

Additional wildlife sightings
Mule Deer
Allen's Chipmunk (5)
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Pileated Woodpecker (2)
Red-tailed Hawk
Common Raven (6)
Mountain Quail (5)
Sierran Tree Frog (2)
Lilac-bordered Copper *

No wolves but my kids and I had a blast. Great weather and I got a lifer (lilac-bordered Copper).

Ingresado el 11 de octubre de 2018 por kwgeiger kwgeiger | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

11 de septiembre de 2018

The Search for Gray Wolves in California

This post is connected to a photo of a Mexican Gray Wolf. That particular animal was photographed at a facility that partciipated in the recovery program for that subspecies of wolf. At the time of the photograph that animal was captive. I do not know if that wolf was ever released or if continued to be a breeding animal.

Of all the things I have seen or done as naturalist, seeing a Mexican Gray Wolf that was helping restore that species was in the top 3. I have been obsessed with wolves my entire life. When I was a kid, the wolf was gone from the lower 48 states. You could not even find them in Yellowstone. I got to see four wolves when I was in Alaska and that was powerful even for a 9 year old. As I grew up, the wolves began making a comeback. Once the reintroduction began, they slowly spread out into their former range. The plan to retore the Mexican Wolf began too.The effort has been slow and cautious but there are wolves in the Southwest. My kids got to see the Mexican Gray Wolves when they were 9 and 10 which was just an awesome experience. Around that time, a wild Gray Wolf entered California and a new chapter in my life began.

Or-7 was the first wolf to enter California in 80 years and he became a rock star. He hung around Northern California for two years. My kids and I followed the updates from the state web site and we often made trip in the mountains to our north and east. We never saw him but we were close once in Modoc county. We decided we were going to dedicate ourselves to see wolves in the state and we prepared for the long wait to see them. Or-7 eventually settled in southern Oregon when he finally found a mate. That pack, the Rouge River Pack, has been successful and have had a dozen or so pups. Or-7 is still alive though his radio collar batteries died. Every once in awhile he does show up on trail camera. At least sight he looked absolutely magnificent.

Over the last 3 years a handful of collared wolves have roamed the state as singles. A pack was discovered in the area north west of us then it was lost. A few of Or-7's pups have made it to the state too which had brought my kids a lot of joy. The wolves eluded us thus far but my kids and I have retained our excitement for the search for wolves.

Then in 2017, a pack was discovered in my neck of the state. They are the Lassen Pack and they are firmly established, for the time being, in the mountains exactly east of us. Through my job, I have been lucky enough to have talked with CDFW and I learned about the fascinating story of that pack. It is just a matter of time now before my kids and find them. It may be just a few tracks to start but I really believe we will see those wolves. It may be a glance a year from now but it will be a truly amazing event for us.

For the moment, I can only say it will be an informal citizen science survey. It may end up a bit more formalized and academic in nature. I also does not matter what kids of study it ends up being. The goal is to successfully finish the family project we started 7- 8 years ago. A labor of family love for wolves. I can not think of a better way to spend the next year of my life !

Also if you read this and you think you see a wolf or find evidence of a wolf in California, contact the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, North Region office. Citizen reporting helps the state with understanding what the population is and where they are living.

Ingresado el 11 de septiembre de 2018 por kwgeiger kwgeiger | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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