January Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project news

January Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project news

Conservation Northwest / Jan 29, 2016 / Wildlife Monitoring

Cougar and cubs at a trail camera site in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Photo: CNW / Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project

Our 2015 Citizen Wildlife Monitoring field season report is now available!

The below is an update on our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project. We publish “Monitoring E-news” updates several times a year for the benefit of our project volunteers, advisers and sponsors. Please email aleah@conservationnw.org to sign up for these updates.

By Aleah Jaeger, Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project Coordinator

Happy 2016!

As we begin a new year of wildlife monitoring, winter tracking is in full swing along I-90, with 50 volunteers spending days in the snow searching for wildlife tracks near the highway and new I-90 wildlife crossings. Some of our fearless volunteers are also maintaining wolf and wolverine remote camera sites through the winter, braving snow, ice, and slippery stream crossings.

Our 2015 remote camera field season was fantastic thanks to tireless effort from our unparalleled volunteers, advisers and a little cooperation from Washington and British Columbia’s amazing wildlife!

Project volunteers maintained 23 sites from winter and spring through fall, each with two to five camera installations in the Cascades, northeast Washington, and southeast British Columbia, monitoring for rare and recovering wildlife. Our focus species this season were gray wolf, wolverine, lynx, and grizzly bear, as well as general wildlife presence and activity in relation to the I-90 area around Snoqualmie Pass.

We are finishing up our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project 2015 Field Season report, which summarizes our findings from January to December 2015! Keep an eye out for the report on our website in the coming weeks.

Some highlights from the 2015 field season include:
  • Wolverines documented at our Chiwaukum, Ice Lakes, and Icicle Canyon sites;
  • Two different wolves documented at a Chiwaukum site (February and November);
  • Canada lynx at our installations in southeast British Columbia’s Rossland Range;
  • American marten recorded at nine different sites in the Cascades;
    Lynx in BC's Kettle Range
    Lynx in BC’s Kettle Range
  • Many very entertaining photos of black bears;
  •  An adorable coyote pup
  • cougar family with three cubs hanging out in front of one of our cameras for a week;

And much more! Check out more of the season’s best photos on our Flickr page!

We’ve also had some staffing changes to the CWMP team during the past season.

Former project manager Alison Huyett left Conservation Northwest in the fall for a great position at Patagonia in Ventura, California. We wish her the best of luck in her new role! I (Aleah Jaeger) was then brought on as the Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project Coordinator.

I interned and volunteered with Conservation Northwest, and worked as contracted staff for the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, before being offered my current position. I’ve been settling in for the past three months, and I can’t imagine a better place to work or better people to work with. I also can’t imagine ever getting tired of looking through new remote camera photos! I have already met many of the project’s current volunteers, but if we haven’t met, please feel free to send an email introducing yourself to aleah@conservationnw.org. I’m really looking forward to working with all of you as we document wildlife presence and recovery in our beautiful region.

We are also excited to introduce our new Monitoring Intern, Taylor McDowell! He is the most recent addition to our team, and will be with us until July. Taylor is a substitute teacher in Snohomish and has a background in biology and wildlife monitoring. He has spent a significant amount of time in Montana doing wolf research and has some fascinating stories. We’re thrilled to have Taylor join the wildlife monitoring forces! Send him a welcome message at wildlifemonitoringproject@gmail.com.

Weren’t able to get out into the field this year? Join the program as a team sponsor!

Each year we provide over 100 volunteers with all the equipment they need to manage their monitoring sites, and we need your help! Equipment includes remote cameras, bungee cords and python locks, scent lure, camera batteries, memory cards, and more. Team sponsors “adopt” a monitoring site and team, and receive periodic updates about activity at their site. If you’re interested in sponsoring a camera team, learn more on our website or contact me at (206) 675-9747 x 201.

The 2016 Remote Camera Monitoring Field Season

You’ll receive an announcement in late spring with details about our spring/fall monitoring season, and a link to RSVP for the training. We can’t wait to get volunteers back out into the field for our main project season!

Wolverine near Leavenworth
Wolverine near Leavenworth
Save the Date for our auction!

Conservation Northwest’s annual Hope for a Wild Future auction and dinner will be on April 21st this year on the Seattle Waterfront, bringing together conservationists, philanthropists, local businesses, and community leaders to celebrate Conservation Northwest’s work to keep the Northwest wild. We hope you can join us!

As always, we’d like to extend a big thank you to our current volunteers, our expert advisory committee, the WDFW ALEA program, The Icicle Fund, the Orvis Company, the Spokane Mountaineers, Sustainable Path and our team sponsors!

Here’s to another year of wildlife monitoring in Washington and British Columbia!

Warm wishes,