When doing monitoring or restoration work in NM it is helpful, necessary even, to recognize the impacts or wounds to the land, the plants and animals and the native people. These wounds are multiple, interact with one another, and sometimes are deeply buried, hidden from view.
Here are some of the more general ones: NM Wounds- impacts compared with a time before the “Anthropocene”, along with some commentary on the importance of keeping an open mind to the possibility of seeing more ~ history, and potential for the future.
We organized another wildlife track and sign identification course with renown wildlife specialist Casey McFarland on April 9th and 10th. He will be in the area this summer and would like to do more courses, so get on our wait list and I’ll keep you posted.
Here is some feedback from a couple of the latest participants:
From Michael Cox ~ The weekend was terrific! Casey taught me a new way of looking at the natural world. It was like suddenly realizing that you’ve been living in the dark and having the light turned on. It was intimidating and challenging but I’d do it again next weekend if I could, and I hope that Casey does another session sometime soon.
I am interested in your project, but I should tel you that I only received a 68 in the course, and reached some astoundingly stupid conclusions, so I’m not sure how much help I could be. So please alert me when you go out next time.
PS- Thanks for the heads up on the course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
and from Sarah and Matt Fontaine ~Hi Peter,
Matt and I both thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and got so much out of it! I have been looking at tracks, and books of tracks, for a while… it was so satisfying to have someone with extensive knowledge to give hard facts to what had previously been questionable deduction. And Casey showed us animal sign that I would have walked right past, not knowing what to look for. We also appreciate the style of teaching: having us try to figure out what a track/sign is using whatever knowledge and common sense we have, before just telling us. That really gets one looking around, analyzing the surroundings, asking questions like ‘who would live here?’ or ‘what size animal would make that scat?’
We are interested in volunteering for the Pathways monitoring program, do keep us posted!
The article last Monday in the ABQ Journal confused the number of years this study has been going, giving this data more credit than it currently deserves. This is the first year of the study in the Sandia Mts., while it has been going for three years in other mountain ranges of NM. The article stated that this the third year in the Sandias as well, but that just isn’t true. I’ve been participating in this study, along with 9 other groups/agencies, and the data is just now coming in for our first year (2014).
This is important because for Game and Fish to increase the bear hunt in the Sandia Mts. based on one year’s worth of data is just wrong.
Read the Journal article here: Bear-kill boost upsets critics | Albuquerque Journal News.
One of the priority wildlife passages in the Rocky Mts. is highlighted here in this NY Times piece:
For Mule Deer, an Incredible Journey – NYTimes.com.
Jaguar in northern Mexico
Wildlife advocate John Davis trekked from Mexico to Canada along the “Spine of the Continent” to bring attention to the need for wildlife corridors.
Watch a trailer from the Trek West film by film maker Ed George here:
Trek West trailer on Vimeo on Vimeo
via Trek West trailer on Vimeo.
A good description (much better than mine) of how to post a wildlife observation to iNaturalist, by Jonah Evans, on his “Nature Tracking” site:
Animal Tracks on iNaturalist.