Two coyotes at Bennett Pass

Two coyotes together at station near Bennett Pass. It is a little early for the breeding season - coyotes in the Cascades breed in late winter - so this pair may be siblings.

Probably one of the pair, seen earlier.

It has been an interesting winter with the warmer mountain temperatures, torrential rain, and dearth of snow accompanied by bobcat, coyote, and mountain lion at most of our Oregon stations. We haven't seen such wild cat presence in Washington. This winter we have focused our station locations at various sites adjacent to but not on Mt Hood as we conducted extensive surveys this summer on the mountain itself. We have not detected mountain foxes at any of this season's sites yet, which is surprising as the survey stations encompass a lower elevation area than our sites on the mountain that yielded fox detections but still within the range of where we expect to find some foxes. I imagine that mountain precipitation patterns have a significant impact on fox behaviour as foxes rely on access to the small mammals under the snow a major prey source. Rain fall on snow followed by a freeze-up prevent access for foxes to the subnivean zone where the small mammals live. But its hard to know precisely how these changes manifest themselves. There is much to learn about these rare mountain foxes.


More cats

Here are a couple great photos of bobcat from a station in the Badger Creek Wilderness and a second in lower elevation, open forest that are run by Cascadia Wild and Paul Halliday.


First snowy winter shots from Mt Hood National Forest: Cats, cats, cats

Bobcat streaking through deep snow off Gumjuac Trail

Bobcat peering through rain drops near Teacup ski trails.

Below: A series of shots of a mountain lion chomping on the bait.



Getting back our first camera station photos of the winter season

Bobcat in Pocket Creek area

Another bobcat in Pocket Creek area

Two mountain lions near Gumjuac Ridge


A reminder of what's to come......

Seeing as we are gearing up to set cameras targeting winter wildlife, I thought I would post a photo from late last winter (March 2014) as a reminder of the snow and winter fun to come. I know, I know, its gorgeous fall weather right now. But its exciting to have cooler weather and a change of seasons.


What does Cascade red fox scat look like? Here are some photos of scats that have had mtDNA sequencing.

Red fox scat has rounded ends that are tapered (not twisty) and is often segmented. It is similar to domestic dog scat but much smaller and often filled with berries, hair, bones, grass, etc.

It is approximately 0.25 to 0.5 inches (1cm) in diameter – the same diameter as a pinky finger – and 1 to 4 inches (2 to 10cm) long. If it is a little larger, it may still be fox. If it is smaller (American marten size but without twisty ends), it could be a fox pup. 

Below are some photos of Cascade red fox scats as confirmed by DNA analysis.