Indentifying and Protecting Wildlife Corridors

Posts tagged ‘Bobcats’

Supporting Wildlife

Supporting wildlife is like saying you support rain clouds in the desert. Yes, I support rain clouds coming over and giving us rainfall, I support water, and sunlight. I support green, green grass and clover. I support rivers full of water, skies full of sun and clouds and color, and I support the forest full of trees.  I support the wind blowing gently, especially the cool, wet breezes of summer. I support the snow burying  the mountains in winter.  Again, the water, yes I support that.  I support birds flying by, and birds landing and making nests. I support all the animals, and especially the ones that begin with the letter “B”.  Like Bats and Bears, Beavers and Bobcats, Bees and Butterflies.  I support the Moon and the Stars, the Planets too, and Sun in Sky and the light that reaches Earth. I support the fog that fills the valleys on a winter day, and pine needles that collect under the pine trees. I support holes and other burrows in the ground, and sound of rain on a metal roof. 

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California Bans Bobcat Trapping in 3-2 Vote

Read the article from KCET here: California Bans Bobcat Trapping in 3-2 Vote. Bobcats are one of our “focal species” here at Pathways, because, even though they are a smaller, “mezzo-predator”, and don’t range as far and wide as our other focal species, we have included them because of the hunting/trapping pressure being put on them for the fur business.  Being “common” is no protection for an animal, as most of the animals now extirpated were once “common”. Humans have literally become the balance of nature over the past century (especially), deciding which animals will live, in how many numbers, and which are not worth our trouble; but we are still confounded by “invasive species” and those we consider pests. We’re trying to control this ship yet, and we must try, but I don’t think anyone can or really ever has.  Nature is a beautiful thing when she is in balance, and everyone has a chance to be who they are.  But now, we’re drowning in human beings, nature is something “out there” or far away, and we don’t even know what animals are really here for. So yea for California, but lets think about what a bobcat is, all of the other plants and animals that make it possible for this mid-size cat to be in the hills, and at last, where do we fit in?

Help Ban Bobcat Trapping in CA!

Bobcat takes a break in the yard

Bobcat takes a break in the yard

Yes, bobcats are being trapped here in NM as well, but we’re a long way from CA as you can see in this link to “Project Coyote” and their efforts to protect bobcats in CA:

Help Ban Bobcat Trapping in CA!.

Wildlife track and sign course with Casey McFarland

First day beginning

First day beginning

 

We started out with a calm day on the West Mesa, finding beautifully preserved tracks on the sand dunes.  Eight people took this rigorously designed course of wildlife track and sign identification, in which everyone makes their best effort at identifying the “questions” presented by the animals we find: “who made this track?”, “which foot is this?”, “what gait is this animal in, walk, trot, run?”.  Then, after each person has the time to write their answers and  give them  privately, the space is then created to receive all the information Casey has to give on who this animal is, and why it is not another animal, details on foot structure, natural history, and the mechanics and physical dynamics of gait and speed.  So much information comes pouring out from just these little marks in the sand that you wonder at the richness of the story at your feet, and your eyes open wider.

 

Casey teaching

Casey teaching

 

If all this information can be gathered from just a few minutes on the sand, what could we learn from a day, a week, a month of reading these stories?  A fascinating world is opening up for those of us who are learning to read track and sign, for it is not like reading, but more like seeing live action ~ the size, height, length and movement of the animal as it stops, sits, turns, breaks into a trot, starts to hunt or forage, or gives chase.

Bobcat tracks

Bobcat tracks

 

Our second day was cooler, windier, up in the Tijeras area where Mule Deer and Bobcat tracks, beds and scrapes were found.  These common animals and the traces of their lives help connect us to the real world, the world where we live, where animals live; and help us to begin to see how we are a part of their daily lives.