Saturday, March 11, 2017

Camera Trap Set-Up

The County Commission voted to lease the land to the GREAT group in October instead of pursuing plans to sell it to developers.  By November, GREAT was a registered non-profit and had insured and secured the property.
In December, I met Anita at the property to set the camera traps up again.
 Anna and River came out with me to help out
 Anita met us there, along with Carl and Linda.  Carl found the camera trap that I thought had been stolen!  He even cleaned it up for us.  Sadly, the pictures were lost, but it was great to have the camera back again.

 We found some active burrows to set up the new traps.
 Anna and River were a huge help.
 It has been really dry this season and there is no standing water right now.  The grass has really grown since they stopped mowing.
 Such a beautiful property.  It is so exciting to know that it is safe for now.  

Busy Days

 Since I last posted, the hundred acre hollows has been officially protected!  The county issued a lease to GREAT for $1 a year.  It can be ended at a later date, but for now, our 114 acres are safe from development.  The camera traps are out again and collecting lots of interesting photos.  Here are a few of my favorites.
  A bobcat came cruising by one of the camera traps in the dark of the night.
 The gopher tortoises are coming in and out of the burrows to graze and sun during the day.

 And mating season has begun.  Oh dear!
I have some photos of us working on the land as well, I'll be back to post those when I have gotten them off of my phone.  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Things that go by in the Night

 During the days, the camera traps take lots of pictures of tortoises.  Not too surprising considering that the are set up outside tortoise burrows.  I always get the biggest kick out of the strange creatures that go walking by at night.  The photos are always black and white of course, but some of the creatures are pretty interesting.  
Racoon tail
 Opossum tail.
He came back later to explore again.

Friday, March 18, 2016

GPS Tags

I think we have most of the gopher tortoise burrows marked with GPS coordinates.  There are 249 that we were able to find.  Apparently it would cost a developer about $1,7000 per tortoise to relocate all of the animals before they could build on the site.  Anita and her GREAT group is working hard to come up with other possible uses for the land.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

ECO Classroom

ECO Classroom was the program sponsored by Northrop Grumman which sent the Space Coast Eco Geeks to Costa Rica last summer.  Applications are open for teachers who want to go next year.  Just follow this link for more information.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Team Work

I created a google form to have my students help collect data from the camera trap photos.  They had fun being my beta testers.  Then Ryan set up the form on a web site and fixed the viewing permissions on the folders so that anyone could help us out by taking a look at some of the data and filling out the form.  So, on the topic of great team work, it would be GREAT if other people would try it out too.  I'd love to hear what you think!  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bad Aim

 I moved the camera traps from the south side of the site to the north side.  Apparently, I'm not so good at aiming though.  Mostly I got a lot of pictures of the top of tortoise shells.  There was just this one that included a face.  I tried to fix the camera placement.  Time will tell whether or not it worked.
We are officially booked to speak for the Space Coast Science Education Alliance.   They made this great flyer for the event.  Unfortunately, due to some scheduling conflicts, some of our supporters will be at state science fair, and Ryan will be presenting at NSTA.  Still, it should be a great opportunity to share our project with more people.
I think we have the google form and photo drive working now which will mean that anyone will be able to look at the pictures from the 114 acres and help us to analyze the data from them.  I'm going to have a couple of people test it for me and then share the link here when it is ready to go live.