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2016 Highlights from Okaloosa SCIENCE

 

By Sally Bowers

This past season our Okaloosa SCIENCE volunteers have been hard at work deploying and retrieving cameras in the Florida panhandle! For those of you who do not know, the Okaloosa SCIENCE project began in 2014 as a way to enhance students’ interest and performance in the sciences. By partnering with local public lands, our citizen scientists have been able to deploy over 470 cameras and gather data on 18 wildlife species from each of the following habitat types: Bottomland Hardwood Forest, Upland Hardwood Forest, Upland Pine/Sandhill, Coastal/Dune Forest, and Developed…

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White-tailed Deer in the Rut

 

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are one of the most commonly seen wildlife species around the east (click for range map), and this abundance brings many wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities as well as the negatives of increased vehicle collisions and plundered gardens and rose beds.   Because white-tailed deer are so common they also give us the opportunity to see behaviors that we do not get to see for other animals.

A spectacular set of deer…

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Do Coyotes Cause Deer Declines?

 

Coyotes kill deer.  This fact is undisputed.  The real question is:

Do coyotes cause deer populations to decline?

This question has led to years of research.  While there are still strong advocates on both sides, enough science has been done that there is an evidence based answer to this question.

Coyotes will scavenge deer carcasses any time of the year (1) and usually have deer hair in their scat, but they primarily hunt deer during the spring and the winter in areas with snow.  There is some evidence of coyotes hunting adult deer in areas without…

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Bobcat Track and Sign

 

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are relatively common in forested areas (click here for range), but they are highly secretive and difficult to see in the wild.  As a result a bobcat sighting is a rare treat and most outdoor enthusiasts will only detect bobcats using cameras, like our eMammal volunteers, or by interpreting bobcat track and sign.

Bobcats live a wide variety of habitat, but they love thick cover, rocky features, and varying terrain.  As a result they often do not…

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Welcome to the NEW eMammal Website

 

We are so excited to be working with the volunteers on the Okaloosa S.C.I.E.N.C.E. eMammal project. This blog is intended to be a source of infomation for the Okaloosa S.C.I.E.N.C.E. eMammal volunteers to dissiminate natural history of the local flora and fauna. Please feel free to read, re-post on other social media outlets, comment and ask questions, and suggest future blog topics.

Categories: Blog