Monday, September 6, 2010

August 26

Today was our second and last day of trapping and also the day of recaps. At Long Tin we had two cotton mice (Peromyscus gossypinus) and an opossum (Didelphis virginianus) and at Dry Bay we had one deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). None had ticks and all were recaps. At Four Mile we caught an anolis (Anolis carolinensis) and a narrow mouth toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) and at Dry Bay we caught a woodhouse toad (Bufo woodhousei).
All of this data will be used to figure out the life-cycle and tendencies deer ticks in the south, which we don’t know a lot of. Let’s hope our data shows us some useful trends. And I guess that’s it for the summer, I hope you enjoyed my blog and learned a lot.

August 25

So first night of trapping brought in three recaptured cotton mice (Peromyscus gossypinus), one from each site and none had ticks. The female from Long Tin was pregnant and very agitated that she was trapped. We also caught two lizards. The 5-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) at Dry Bay was caught under one of our metal cover boards. He was the first lizard caught under any of our cover boards. At Four Mile we caught an anolis (Anolis carolinensis). Neither had ticks. The rest of our morning was spent doing a vegetation survey. This survey is being done at all of the other sites and will be used to compared ground cover (any plants below 20 cm). Ground cover is important because ticks are often found here.

August 24

Hey everyone back again! Well like always day one doesn’t really involve many animals. We opened the pitfalls and flagged at Dry Bay and Long Tin in the morning and opened and bated the mammal traps in the afternoon. It’s still too hot for ticks I think because we didn’t get anything from flagging. Maybe this is the reason why Lyme disease has such a low prevalence in the south, it’s even too hot for the ticks to be out. We also decided to shorten our trapping session to two nights instead of three because we have pretty much captured the entire population, we know this because almost every animal we catch is a recap.

August 11

Last day of the week and we had two lizards, both from Dry Bay, one was an anolis (Anolis carolinensis) and the other was a ground skink (Scincella lateralis). Neither had ticks. We had a few frogs, southern leopard (Rana utricularia), pickerel (Rana palustris) and a southern toad (Bufo terrestris). Last but not least the mammals. We did not catch anything at Four Mile but we did get 2 recaptured cotton mice (Peromyscus gossypinus) and 1 deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) at Long Tin and 2 cotton mice and an opossum at Dry Bay. This was the first medium mammal I processed myself. It was really cool to actually handle it. He had 3 dog ticks on his ears, but no deer ticks.

Picture 1: Pickerel Frog

August 10

Today started at Long Tin Site where we had one recaptured cotton mouse and a young male opossum. He was a lot smaller than the female we caught yesterday. He also had no ticks of any kind. At Dry Bay we checked the cover boards and burlap and didn’t find anything. But we did catch two cotton mice however both were recaps. At Four Mile we didn’t catch anything except two narrow mouth toads in the pitfalls.

August 9

This morning started at Long Tin Site where we had 3 mice (1 was a recap and 2 were new) and all were cotton mice (Peromyscus gossypinus). There were no ticks on any of the mice. Then off to Four Mile where we had our huge catch. There was one cotton mouse that was a recap, one raccoon (Procyon lotor) and one opossum (Didephis virginians). The opossum was a young female and had 3 adult engorged dog ticks. The raccoon was a male and had 7 adult engorged dog ticks and 2 larvae. After this we headed over to Dry Bay where we had 2 cotton mice and 1 deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). Deer mouse had a lot of mites on the back edges of its ears. Today was a big trapping day for us, hopefully this trend continues!
Picture 1. Raccoon in a Tomahawk trap

August 8

First Day of this week and like usual we lifted cover boards at Long Tin Tin. Unfortunately we didn’t catch anything, I think it still is too hot too early in the morning for lizards to be under the boards. Although it was only about 95° today, which is way better the 100. We then opened the pitfalls and were off to Home Depot to get some dowels to make shades for the buckets. The dowels were cut into four pieces and zip tied to a piece of burlap. This afternoon these shades are put in the ground directly over the buckets. Hopefully these help cool the buckets off enough so no more frogs or other animals that fall in die of heat and dehydration. After this we open the rest of the traps. The only thing we did different was in the Tomahawk traps we added a sardine to the cat food.

The pictures are of the pitfall tents at Long Tin.