Hello, I'm Mr. Richards. Please join me as I travel to Nova Scotia to study mammals!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I caught some voles!

After setting our traps, we waited the night to see whether we actually caught anything. Though we keep the traps stocked with bedding and food, voles easily can get hypothermic over a short period of time, so we check them twice a day; once in the morning and once at night. The reason why there is the styrofoam covering the bedding chamber is to make sure that there is insulation over the night.

On day 1, we caught 2 mice and 4 voles over 24 hours. In the video below, you will see my first attempt at catching the mouse that was trapped overnight. It was a male vole, and survived through the harsh winter to help repopulate the area with voles. Because of the fact that it survived so long, Dr. Bueshing (one of the main researchers) puts each mouse or vole caught through a maze before being released, to test intelligence. The vole to the right is about to go through the maze.

Check out the video! Note: Don't shake the trap, otherwise you might scare the vole, as I did...


Questions to respond to. (Yes, Liam, you do respond by commenting on the post.... and I do read them...)

1. Since the voles survived over the winter, would you consider them more or less intelligent? Would you expect for the times of the vole going through the maze to be longer or shorter? How do you think the times would compare to a mouse or vole that was born during the summer?

2. Why do you think Dr. Bueshing clips the hair of the vole (as seen at the end of the video)? Why would this be helpful?

3. In the video, notice that I checked the first part of the trap, then the rest of the trap. Why do you think this is?

4. What data do you think that Dr. Bueshing keeps on each mouse or vole caught? How would those numbers help with showing the health of the animal, and the environment?

1 comment:

  1. 1. I think that voles instinctively do things to survive winter and that it isn't really much based on intelligence at all. I guess if the vole was really riled up, like your shaken not stirred one, he would make wrong turns and take longer than a calm vole. I think all voles are equal in intelligence.

    2. She clips the hair to mark them so that you can see if you caught it already.

    3.You checked the first part of the trap, just in case it was a sneaky vole and tried to escape by clinging to the edges like a secret agent.

    4. Gender, size, favorite color, and what type of rodent it is. From this you could estimate how how much food the animals are getting and if the population has too many males or too many females.