Written by Jane Hutchinson
As reported in last month’s blog, wildlife monitoring activities at Paradise Farm have begun. Thanks to Grace Coale’s donation of time and supplies, two of the eight trail cameras Farmer Frog is seeking for the “Black Bear Project” have been installed. Grace, a lifetime naturalist, has worked on wildlife monitoring projects around the Puget Sound region that have provided best available science to local decision makers around conservation issues and land use practices. Make sure to stop and have a chat if you see her tracking around the farm. She has a lot to share.
Over the coming seasons, Grace will be creating a base line inventory of wildlife species so that Farmer Frog can integrate a variety of sustainable agriculture practices that will produce food for humans without displacing wildlife. Paradise Farm is located in the Bear Creek watershed, which has some of the most productive salmon streams in the Sammamish River System. Earlier surveys have found evidence of black bear, coyote, bobcat, raven, and eagle. The first couple of weeks of photo captures from Grace’s trail cams show that this past month Cottontail Rabbit, Western Coyote, and Columbian Black-tailed Deer are who have been busy visiting the farm.
The Pacific Northwest is home to three cottontail species – Nuttal’s, Eastern, and Brush Rabbit. Based on location and habitat, the cottontail species at Paradise Farm is most likely Eastern Cottontail. Cottontails prefer brushy habitat and rarely venture far from cover.
Western Coyote lives in all areas of the Pacific Northwest in communities of small family groups to large pack structures depending on terrain and food sources. Small mammals like cottontail make up a large portion of coyote’s diet, along with berries, mushrooms, insects, salmon, and fawns.
The Columbian black-tailed deer is found in western North America, from Northern California into the Pacific Northwest and coastal British Columbia. Black-tail, a sub-species of mule deer, have a home range of 0.5 to 3 square miles. They live in small family groups, most often sister herds, preferring riparian woodlands such as those surrounding Paradise Farm.
Becoming Wildlife Friendly Certified is Farmer Frog’s goal at Paradise Farm. Through the combined use of human presence, electric fencing, livestock guarding dogs, and the cultivation of food forests, Farmer Frog’s sustainable agriculture methods will protect wildlife habitat and keep livestock safe from predators while helping to maintain the ecological health of the Paradise Valley region for future generations.
Stay tuned to the Frog Blog for more information about this and other Farmer Frog projects
Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s a few ways you can get involved.
Reference: Moskowitz, David (2010). Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest: Tracking and identifying Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates. Timber Press Inc., Portland.
Wildlife Monitoring Materials Needs:
- 6 Moultrie A-30i 12MP 60′ HD Video NoGlow Infrared Game Trail Camera + 8GB SD Card
- 8 Rite-in-the-Rain Field Guides, 1 per camera
- Rechargeable Batteries and charging stations, 12 per camera=72 batteries
- Electric Fencing – More details here soon. Farmer Frog is in the process of consulting with bear fence suppliers to locate the best materials and prices.
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Donate HERE and specify that funds go to the “Wildlife Project: Black Bears.”