Galloper or bounder? Fox or coyote? Awesome, fisher tracks! There’re lots of hare tracks here!
These are some of the thoughts that go through participants' minds as they carry out their field surveys for the Animal Tracks Inventory. This inventory is one of the many activities of the Citizen Science in Gatineau Park program, a collaboration between the Friends of Gatineau Park and the National Capital Commission.
This winter component allows a better understanding of the use predators, such as coyotes, lynx, martens or fishers, make of the ecological corridors linking Gatineau Park to the other natural areas surrounding it. The ecological links between the Park and these natural environments are important for the health of these species. This survey supplements the one carried out by students from the University of Ottawa, who are assigned corridors located more toward the northern end of the Park.
The second year of this component came to a close in March, with 26 participants having taken part in 22 outings spread over 5 weeks and 5 corridors, from Wakefield to Aylmer, via Chelsea and Hull.
Learning to identify animal tracks in the snow, contributing collectively to a better understanding of the Park’s ecological integrity, spending time in the forest while taking the time to observe and be amazed, these are the advantages of participating! We are already looking forward to doing it again in 2021 and we invite you to join us (again, or for the first time).
Catherine Dumouchel (trans. Simon Landry)
Photo: Carolyn Cahill and Jon Stuart (cropped)