Tuesday, April 13, 2010
We set 100 small mammal traps today in an area called a hectare, which is 100 by 100 meters. Tomorrow we'll check on the traps. We make sure to put enough hay and food inside the traps so the animals will survive until we collect them several hours later. At this point in the year, Chris told us that if 5 traps have a mammal in them out of the 100 we put out, that would be a good day. After we measure them they are released unharmed. Our goal is to be able to estimate how many animals there are in a certain area. Because small mammals are so important to the food chain, if they have a healthy population, chances are that the rest of the animals in the environment are doing well also. Christina and Chris are ecologists, meaning they study ecology. Do you have ideas about what ecology is? Please look up this word in a dictionary and tell me what definition you find. I look forward to reading your responses!