Lately, we've been working in the field a lot, and I thought I'd post a quick description of our exact work.  Most of it is similar to what we did today, alternated with checking traps that we've already set for rescued animals (as well as unwanted ones).

Today, we drove down to Otay Mesa, where we went onto a United States Fishing & Game Federal Reserve (Otay Mesa Reserve) that was formerly a privately owned ranch. We went into a trailer and helped set up and assemble more Tomahawk cages to trap squirrels, including water bottles, tubing, and preparing radio colors and dye for squirrels we catch.  We will dye numbers onto their backs for easy identification.  Don't worry, these dyes won't hurt the squirrels at all!  They're vegetable-based rather than chemical-based, so they are animal-safe and will wear off from the squirrels' fur later.

After assembling everything, we took some cages out into the reserve and designated locations for them.  We took other cages into areas undergoing development that is destroying owl homes to capture owls.

 

Defining

05/08/2011

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Another great discussion today before heading out into the field.  We've started rescuing squirrels and moving them into acclimation facilities, and today we were just checking our traps.  On the way, we talked about how we would define success in these early stages of our project.  Here is what we decided:

HOW WE MEASURE SUCCESS

1) Short term – squirrels captured, their acclimation to this area (are they comfortable?)
2) Long term – burrowing owls stay on preserve and produce and successfully raise offspring there