So elusive, in fact, that the southern bog lemming (Synaptomys cooperi) is listed as a species of greatest conservation need in the northeastern states – mainly because scientists struggle to find and track these rodents. [Read more…] about Southern Bog Lemmings
International Bat Day is a great time to appreciate New York’s nine bat species.
When spring temperatures become warm enough, bats will leave their hibernation sites and may be seen flying in search of insects. Unfortunately, many species of bats, including little brown bats, have faced severe population declines due to White-nose Syndrome. [Read more…] about International Bat Appreciation Day is Sunday
After some sniffing, she led the way several feet upslope, stopping at a rotting log which bridged the air between two boulders. [Read more…] about Bobcat Caches: Fascinating and Occasionally Grisly
The gray squirrel is a common member of New York State’s wildlife community.
This bushy-tailed rodent ranks among the most frequently seen creatures, especially if a few individuals in the neighborhood are maintaining bird feeders. Yet, as common as this skilled aerialist may appear, the gray squirrel is not as widely distributed throughout the Adirondack Park as it might seem. [Read more…] about The Gray Squirrel in the Adirondacks
Now is a great time to search for winter tracks or other animal signs visible in the snow. It can be fun to be a detective and figure out what animals have been walking through your yard or across a trail. [Read more…] about Look for Wildlife Tracks in Winter
Have you ever seen a river otter in New York? Prior to the 1990s, river otters were absent from most of Central and Western New York.
That all changed between 1995–2001, when DEC worked with trappers and other groups to reintroduce 279 otter to 16 different sites in those parts of the state. [Read more…] about River Otter Surveys Underway
In November, I was making soup to stock the freezer when I looked out my kitchen window and spotted a red squirrel rustling through the leaves in search of acorns. Both of us were preparing for harder days ahead – me for an upcoming hip replacement surgery, the squirrel for the approaching snowy season.
What other animals, I wondered, were preparing for winter – and how? [Read more…] about Live Caches of Moles and Shrews
In 1565, the Spanish settled 600 soldiers and civilians at St. Augustine, Florida. In 1607, the English established their first settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, but after a series of floods, Jamestown was abandoned in 1699. Today Jamestown is a national park and archaeological site.
In 1602, the States General of The Netherlands granted a charter to a powerful group of Dutch merchants creating the Dutch East India Company and giving them the exclusive right to develop and conduct trade with the markets in the Far East which included the Spice Islands and China. Soon, these merchants began bringing exotic silk, clothing, ceramics, teas and spices back to the Netherlands. In their travels, the Dutch ship captains discovered the continent of Australia and named it “New Holland.” [Read more…] about Henry Hudson & The Founding of Albany
I tell him that if he could pull back the earth like a blanket and peek in, he might see a small, mousey ball of white, black, and yellowy-orange fur curled tightly inside a nest of dried grasses and dead leaves.
A long, sparsely-furred tail would be coiled like a thin ribbon around this little package: a woodland jumping mouse, whose pre-hibernation diet consists largely of truffles. [Read more…] about Woodland Jumping Mice are Truffle Specialists
Years ago, I visited two Vermont caves in winter to help biologists count hibernating bats. After descending through a hole into the first cave, I immediately noticed that it was much warmer than above ground. The cave was also more humid, and I could hear the steady drip of water.
We walked quietly into the darkness and shone our lights at the cave roof. Bats hung upside down singly and in clusters, wings wrapped around furry bodies and feet clinging to the ceiling. These bats would spend the entire winter immobile, except for brief periods of arousal, when they might change position in the cave. [Read more…] about Bats Prepare for Winter