Forest Carnivore Bait Stations Go Out Across the Panhandle

Running 280 bait stations in one winter requires excellent coordination between partners and field crews. This past week we had crews working both in and around the Snow Peak Wildlife Management Area (the far southeast portion of the study area) and in Purcell Mountains along the Canadian border.

We're targeting high elevation cells (where our target Species of Greatest Conservation Need - wolverine, lynx, and fisher tend to live) which we haven't surveyed in previous years. Some models predict the Bitterroot Divide (pictured here) to be an important corridor for wolverine gene flow. 

Each of the blue 5x5 km cells will have a forest carnivore bait station run in it for one month this winter.

And we have a beaver on ice for each and every one of those cells...

After snowmobiling part of the way to a bait station, Wildlife Diversity Intern Ben Goodheart ski tours in the rest of the way.

Snowmobiles are often the fastest way to access survey sites. But with extremely wind drifted conditions last week, we were thankful to have our skis to get us all the way when snowmobiling became impractical.

In north Idaho the conditions are always changing and a successful field biologist needs to be innovative to adapt. Senior Wildlife Research Biologist Lacy Robinson...

...and Wildlife Diversity Technician Lisa Rosauer dealt with extremely icy conditions on a road in the Purcells (which they could not use a truck or snowmobile on) by bringing a couple sleds for a quick descent.

The Snow Peak crew moved some cameras that MBI Partner the Coeur d' Alene Tribe had established in November to new locations on and near the WMA.

We were excited to find the Coeur d' Alene Tribe Biologists had captured the first image of a Species of Greatest Conservation Need of the season. A fisher!

Wildlife Diversity Intern Brian Malloure heading into the Mallard Larkins Pioneer Area to set up a station.

Wildlife Diversity Intern Toren Johnson tours Surveyors Ridge on the Snow Peak WMA.

A nice winter view of Snow Peak Lookout.

Wildlife Diversity Technician Roger Tyler catches some air while heading down for a bait station pick up.

After long days in the snow we were fortunate to have a warm Idaho Fish and Game cabin to dry out our gear...

...and plan the next day.

Snow Peak WMA Crew (left to right):

Wildlife Diversity Technicians Scott Rulander and Roger Tyler; Wildlife Diversity Interns Toren Johnson, Ben Goodheart, and Brian Malloure;Wildlife Diversity Biologist Michael Lucid.

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