Mammal Diversity and Abundance in Southeastern Massachusetts

This project was conducted by undergraduate students in Dr. Fisher-Reid's research lab at Bridgewater State University, and grew out of our participation in Snapshot USA 2019. The goals of our study are to (1) document and continuously monitor mammal diversity and abundance in the Great Hill forest on our campus, (2) compare mammal diversity and abundance on campus to other forested areas in southeastern Massachusetts, and (3) test hypotheses about mammal activity related to human use of the land (i.e., recreational vs. conservation land). In Summer 2020, six cameras each were deployed in the Great Hill forest in Bridgewater, MA, and the John Tate Place Conservation Area in Wrentham, MA. Great Hill has a number of trails and experiences regular recreational use, while John Tate Place Conservation Area comprises the majority of several large residential lots in Wrentham, which we accessed with landowner permission. This project is supported by three groups at Bridgewater State University: the Department of Biological Sciences, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship.

We used a mix of Covert MP8 and MP16 cameras. Cameras were set 0.5 m above ground level, and were not baited. Between November 2019 and May 2020, five cameras only were deployed in Bridgewater, and none were deployed in Wrentham. For June, July, and August 2020, six cameras were deployed in each forest.

Project Images