Our favorite wildlife monitoring photos from 2020

Our favorite wildlife monitoring photos from 2020

Conservation Northwest / Dec 22, 2020 / Restoring Wildlife, Wildlife Monitoring

Fishers and wolves and lynx, oh my! Check out our top photos from this year’s Community Wildlife Monitoring Project field season.

By Laurel Baum, Community Wildlife Monitoring Project Coordinator

Can you believe 2020 marks the 15th year of our Community Wildlife Monitoring Project (CWMP)?

From beginning as the Rare Carnivore Remote Camera Project, which we coordinated with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) from 2001 to 2005, to the start of the CWMP in 2006—with summer-fall remote camera field seasons across the region and winter snowtracking transects in the Central Cascades—to 2008, when one of our volunteers documented the first wolf pups born in Washington state in nearly a century, to today, as we capture photos of reintroduced fishers in the Cascades, our volunteers have installed and managed hundreds of remote camera sites to extend and enhance the scientific research of our organization and our colleagues; from the U.S. Forest Service and WDFW to partners like the Cascades Wolverine Project.

We love our volunteers!

You might have noticed we made a small but notable change to the project’s title in 2020, replacing citizen with community. We recognize the term “citizen” can be used to exclude people. That’s not the case for our Community Wildlife Monitoring Project (CWMP). We want to make clear that anyone, no matter their citizenship status, place of birth, or how they came to live in the Pacific Northwest today, can be a wildlife monitoring volunteer. Besides, a community is the best way to describe such a passionate group of longtime and new volunteers dedicated to wildlife conservation!

This year our community scientists documented incredible photos of native wildlife, from a pair of playful elk calves to a curious moose checking out some stinky bait. We even have some photos of the CWMP’S target species including wolves, fishers and wolverines, and our partners at the Cascades Wolverine Project documented Canada lynx in addition to gulo gulo.

Even with the hurdles, hardships and disruptions brought on by COVID-19, our volunteers’ unwavering dedication allowed us to continue documenting wildlife in a safe and socially-distanced manner, albeit at lower capacity. We still managed to collect hundreds of photographs of native species that will provide important information to biologists, wildlife managers and researchers at state and federal agencies who are working on wildlife conservation in Washington. THANK YOU to our volunteers!

As we near the end of one of the most tumultuous and unprecedented years of our lifetimes, I hope you enjoy these photos that show us the beauty and resilience of our local wildlands and native wildlife. And stay tuned, we’ll have the full Community Wildlife Monitoring Project 2020 field season report along with information on snowtracking in the Snoqualmie Pass area out later this winter. Past year’s reports are always available on our webpage. Here’s to an even wilder Northwest in 2021!

Click on the images for a larger version.