Sunday, August 22, 2010

June 18

This is a picture of a short tailed shrew.

Last night was a very successful trapping night. At Dry Bay we caught a mouse, a rat and raccoon. The rat was actually the rat from last trip that lost the skin on its tail. Turns out the tail fell off completely and was healing very well. Just like last time she had no ticks. The raccoon was really cool to see, he played dead for the most part until I put the squish plate into the cage. The plate is just a wood board with a handle that we push into the trap so the animal is forced to the back where we can safely give him a shot of telazol (a mild sedative). He had no ticks or even fleas, he was a very clean raccoon. Unfortunately our mouse died while we were trying to get an ear punch. This is a new part of the procedure. We use a special tool to cut a tiny hole out of its ear. The tissue is used to determine if it has Lyme Disease. None of us really like the idea of cutting part of the ear, especially after he died. Now we are taking tiny snips from the edge of the ear instead which is much faster and less stressful.
After all this we headed to Four Mile and found two shrews in one of the pitfalls. Like the shrew from yesterday they both had a lot of ticks (especially between the toes). A Sherman trap caught a Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). Once we let him go he ran straight up a vine and disappeared into the canopy. That was the first time I’ve ever seen a rat do that. We also caught an Anolis foraging and surprisingly it had an engorged larvae tick and two mites on it. This is the first one we found to have ticks. Other than that we caught a few frogs and toads like we always do.

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