7.18.2014

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











Citizen Scientists: Looking for an extra hike to sign up for?

Here is a list of priority trails that we want to cover 4 times this season. If you are interested in hiking one of these trails and collecting scats, please email me at cascadescarnivore@gmail.com.
Thanks! Jocelyn

Goat Rocks
White Pass to Hogback
Snowgrass Trail to Cispus Pass
Goat Lake – wolverine detected in this area in 2009

Indian Heaven
Trail 29 Placid Lake to Pacific Crest Trail
Trail 171 Indian Racetrack to Pacific Crest Trail

Mt Adams
Riley Trail to Burnt Rock
Muddy Meadows Trail to Foggy Flats
Foggy Flats to Devil's Garden

Mt Hood
Timberline Trail – Elk Cove to Cairn Basin
Timberline Trail – Cooper Spur to Elk Cove
Timberline Trail – Cooper Spur to Gnarl Ridge
Eliot Moraine Hike
Timberline Trail - Timberline to Paradise Park (12 mi RT)
Mazama Trail to Cairn Basin
Divide Trail (Badger Creek Wilderness)

Mt Rainier northeast
Emmons Glacier View
Sourdough Ridge
Frying Pan TH to Summerland
Buroughs Loop Trail
White River to Glacier Basin (optional: onward to St Elmo Pass)

Mt Rainier northwest
Paul Peak Trail

Mt Rainier southwest
Eagle Peak (7.2 mi RT)
Paradise River Trail
Kautz Creek Trail (at least 6 miles out, 12 miles RT)
Skyline Trail: Paradise to Panorama Point

Mt St Helens
June Lake to Ape Canyon
Windy Ridge to Loowit Falls
Johnston Ridge Observatory to Spillover
Redrock Pass TH to Loowit Trail
Ape Canyon to Loowit
Mt Margaret Backcountry: Norway Pass Th to Panhandle Lake
Boundary Trail: Bear Meadow
Boundary Trail: Independence Pass

Norse Peak
Chinook Pass - Pacific Crest Trail north to Sourdough Gap (7 mi RT)
Sourdough Gap to Bear Gap (4 mi RT)
Crystal Mountain Trail to Bear Gap Trail

Tatoosh Wilderness
Tatoosh Lakes Trail

7.15.2014

Mt Rainier red fox denning activity ...... or lack thereof.

Some of our well-known Cascade red foxes have been seen at Paradise on the south side of the park but there is no evidence of denning activity at the den sites that we monitor. Below are some photos of one female, and some other species who visited one den site.
Female Cascade red fox

Same female Cascade red fox

Rough grouse

Hoary marmot

Gray-crowned rosy finch

6.26.2014

Thinking of buying a GPS?

I have been using GPS since the satellite algorithm was encoded by the US Army and we had to set up a base station to decode our data. I like a GPS that has a very good antennae to receive signals well and is intuitive to use. I thought I would share my suggestions in case you are interested. I prefer the Garmin brand but I think Magellan still makes good units. Feel free to get in touch with your comments. A basic model is the Garmin eTrex 10 (eTrex 20 is good too). The model I like best is the Garmin 60CSx, which they don't make anymore (though you can find them online) and have been replaced with a fancier color Garmin GPSMAP 64, which is a great GPS.

6.05.2014

Citizen Science Volunteer Opportunity

Collect wolverine, mountain red fox, and gray wolf scats in the Cascade Range.

Please subscribe to this blog by clicking on the Subscribe button to your right to learn more about the Cascades Carnivore Project Are you interested in joining our volunteer crew this summer as a trail steward?  I am looking for dedicated hikers to choose from one to a few trails to hike along and collect carnivore scats this summer. In order to join this citizen science effort, you will need to commit to a minimum of 3 hikes between July.1 and September.30. You are free to select for any 3 dates that work for you within in this timeframe. If you want to do them all together, you will want to sign up for 3 different trails. Or if you would like to sign up for 3 well-spaced dates, you can chose the same trail and hike it 3 times (or 3 different ones....however you decide). There will be no formal training for this position. I will send you supplies and our field protocol to guide you and am available for phone discussions. As a scat collector, you will hike, photograph, and collect any putative mountain red fox, wolverine, and gray wolf scat for DNA analysis in order to investigate the conservation status and connectivity of these rare carnivores in the Cascade Range. It will be super helpful if you have a GPS and camera but they are not necessary.

If you are interested in becoming a citizen scientist, select the trail(s) you would like to steward from the attached list and sign up by replying to cascadescarnivore@gmail.com with the trail name(s) and # of times (1 to 3, or more) you will hike them.2014

Trail Sign-up

Oregon 

Mt Hood
  • Timberline Trail – any section
  • Tilly Jane
  • Cooper Spur
  • Eliot Moraine Hike
  • Cloud Cap to Elk Cove
  • Cloud Cap to Gnarl Ridge
  • Timberline to Paradise Park
  • Lookout Mountain
  • Mazama Trail to Cairn Basin
  • Elk Meadows


Mt Jefferson
  • Pacific Crest Trail #2000 – any section in Wilderness
  • Jefferson Park

Three Sisters
  • Pacific Crest Trail #2000 – any section in wilderness
  • Lava Lake TH to Matthieu Lakes



Washington

Mt Adams







  • Round The Mountain trail – any section
  • Pacific Crest Trail #2000 – any section in Wilderness
  • Divide Trail to Pacific Crest Trail
  • Killen Trail to High Camp
  • South Climb Trail to Lunch Counter
  • Snipes Trail to Round The Mountain trail
  • Stagman Ridge Trail to Horseshoe Meadows
  • Shorthorn Trail to Round The Mountain trail
  • Riley Trail to Burnt Rock
  • Muddy Meadows Trail to Foggy Flats 
  • Indian Heaven Wilderness
    • Trail 171 Indian Racetrack to Pacific Crest Trail
    • Trail 111 Thomas Lake to Pacific Crest Trail
    • Trail 48 East Crater TH to Elk Lake
    • PCT from Sawtooth TH to Sawtooth Mtn
    • Trail 108 Cultus Creek TH to Wood Lake
    • Trail 29 Placid Lake to Pacific Crest Trail
    • Dean’s trail from Indian Racetrack TH to Acker Lake
    • Dean’s trail from Junction Lake to Chenamus Lake 
    Mt St Helens
    • Mt Margaret Backcountry - any trail






  • Loowit trail – any section
  • Johnston Ridge Observatory to Spillover
  • Boundary Trail #1 – any section
  • Climber’s Bivouac trail to Loowit Trail
  • Redrock Pass TH to Loowit Trail 
  • Goat Rocks
    • Pacific Crest Trail #2000 – any section
    • Nannie Ridge to Sheep Lake (Trail #98)
    • Snowgrass Trail to Cispus Pass
    • Goat Lake – wolverine detected in this area in 2009
    • Section 3 Lake TH to Bear Creek Mountain
    • Conrad Meadows Loop 
    William O Douglas Wilderness
    • Pacific Crest Trail #2000 – any section
    • Bumping Lake to Twin Sisters Lakes
    • American Ridge
    • Aix Mountain Trail #982
    • Russell Ridge Norse Peak Wilderness
    • Pacific Crest Trail #2000 north to Bear Gap
    • Trail 1192 Crystal mountain trail to Bear Gap trail
    • Mt Rainier - south
    • Wonderland Trail – any trail
    • sections
    ·      Paradise to Panorama Point
    ·      Paradise River Trail
    ·      High Lakes Trail from Reflection Lakes to Skyline Trail
    ·      Kautz Creek Trail (at least 6 miles out, 12 miles RT)
    ·      Eagle Peak from Longmire

    Mt Rainier - north
    ·      Sunrise area – any trails
    ·      Silver Forest Trail
    ·      Buroughs Loop Trail
    ·      White River to Glacier Basin (optional: onward to St Elmo Pass)
    ·      White River to Emmons Moraine Trail (terminus)

    Mt Rainier - east
    ·      Summerland

    Mt Rainier - west
    ·      Paul Peak Trail
    ·      Mowich Lake to Eagles Roost
    ·      Mowich Lakes to wards Mowich River (1 mile out, 2 mile RT)

    Tatoosh Wilderness
    ·      Tatoosh Lakes

    Glacier Peak Wilderness
    ·      any trail

    North Cascades National Park

    • any trail 

    If you have sighted a mountain red fox, wolverine, or gray wolf in the Washington or Oregon Cascades, or would like to suggest a trail you think might be a good spot to detect one, I would love to hear about it. Please forward this email to any friends you think might be interested in joining the project.

    5.30.2014

    New coyote photos from Mt St Helens

    This past winter, we experimented with camera surveys at and below the lower elevation bound of where we expect to find Cascade red foxes. Officially their distribution is set at 3000 to 7000 ft. However from our 200++ surveys throughout the southern half of Washington, spanning Mt Adams to Norse Peak, we have not detected these mountain foxes below 4200 ft . They have been seen as high as, well, the top of Mt. Rainier - the highest peak in their range. Generally, they occur as high as the upper subalpine and a little above where they forage in subalpine and alpine meadows and tree copses, on talus slopes, and along the base of cliff bands.

    We wanted to gather some more data on how low they occur so we set 16 cameras between 2500 and 3900 ft. We don't have data back from the two 3900 ft cameras yet but all the rest yielded detections only of coyote, mountain lion, and bobcat. This absence of foxes is helping to clarify their distribution and aid in understanding where foxes live, what type of habitat variables they need for their persistence, and ultimately how predicted future climate scenarios will impact their distribution.

    The coyote is the major predator and competitor of lowland red foxes and it is thought that the mountain foxes, the Cascade red fox and its Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain cousins, inhabit marginal, high-elevation habitats as a refuge from competition with coyotes. The new set of camera surveys will be plugged into a habitat model to investigate this coyote avoidance hypothesis.


    4.07.2014

    Oldies but goodies

    Here are some photos from the archives.

    Elk fawn between its mother's legs.

    A Common Raven looking pensive.

    Turkey Vulture, wings spread, are common visitors to the baited stations.

    Two Whiskey Jacks flying in from the left.