| by Dave Allen

Bobcat next to a tree stump. Image from a camera trap taken at night.
A bobcat (Lynx rufus) from the 2022 survey.

Every September for the past three years two Biology faculty members, Alexis Mychajliw and Dave Allen, head out to the woods around Middlebury to set out motion-activated camera traps to survey mammal activity. They then spend countless hours going through the pictures to identify the animals captured in those pictures! This contributes to Snapshot USA an annual survey of mammals. Researchers across the country, like Prof Mychajliw and Allen, set out camera traps using the same protocol in September and October to measure the relative abundance of wildlife. Data from these annual surveys is released to the public so that spatial and temporal patterns in mammal abundance can be studies. The data from the 2021 survey were recently published in the journal Ecology! Data from the completed 2022 and 2023 surveys are forthcoming while Prof. Mychajliw and Allen get ready for the upcoming 2024 survey at the end of the summer.