This is part of a series by Jerod, about his bison research. All photos are by Jerod, unless noted otherwise.
Read more: The Approach . Getting to the Edge . The Count . Cohabitants of the forest . What's it all about? Candid Camera
One element of my (Jerod's) study is to evaluate if your location on the landscape has an influence on your level of stress. In other words, are there places on the landscape that stress you out more than others? This question is important because it provides us a link between behavior (i.e., where animals go) and survival and successful producing young. For example, if you are stressed out all the time, your digestion efficiency decreases, and if you are a lactating female, you can't produce milk as well either.
|In the summer, we just use rubber gloves, plastic baggies and |
spoons to collect scat. This time of year, it takes a chisel and a hammer.
That's me (Jerod) on the left, with Joanne from Parks Canada (right).
In summer, there are the mosquitoes and the heat, but winter in Prince Albert National Park is another situation entirely. In order to better understand our stress results from the summer (derived from fresh bison scat samples), we are collecting scats in winter, too. This means I am out here in Saskatchewan for almost two months, in the dead of winter.
|Our tracks across a big (frozen) lake|
Aside from a bit of truck trouble on the drive west, everything is going pretty well. The weather so far is great for field work, and seeing all the animal tracks in the snow is never ending fun!
Here's a taste of winter in "the great white north."
|Bison scat and trail through the snow|
|The snow is above my knees everywhere, |
and really deep in some places.