Carnivore Monitoring 2018

By LUKE LAMAR, MIKE MAYERNIK, and SARA HALM

SVC staff have been out again this winter surveying The Nature Conservancy's Clearwater Blackfoot Project area and surrounding U.S. Forest Service lands for rare carnivores.  The monitoring project has established baseline data on presence and distribution of rare carnivores on the landscape, how that changes over time, and helps inform management decisions. Of particular interest in 2018 is how the 2017 Liberty Fire has affected Canada lynx presence and distribution in the burn perimeter, but also in adjacent habitats.

 
 A Canada lynx track barely registering in the layer of hoar frost on a crusty snow morning. The crust was thick enough that the lynx would stay on top of the snow, only occasionally breaking through the crust.

A Canada lynx track barely registering in the layer of hoar frost on a crusty snow morning. The crust was thick enough that the lynx would stay on top of the snow, only occasionally breaking through the crust.

 A wolverine doing a 2x diagonal bound down a road.

A wolverine doing a 2x diagonal bound down a road.

 Track of an otter doing a belly slide.  Sara Halm taking some track measurements.

Track of an otter doing a belly slide.  Sara Halm taking some track measurements.

 Canada lynx tracks

Canada lynx tracks

 Tracks of a pack of 5 wolves all registering in the same track.

Tracks of a pack of 5 wolves all registering in the same track.