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Spring Wildlife Camera Update

By Laura Duncan

A moose walks through a wetland

Since the Wildlife Camera Project began in May 2022, over 460 individual animals have been recorded by the four cameras set up in the Kimberley Nature Park (KNP). With the objective of finding out what lives in the Park, where it lives and when it lives there, the cameras have been moved to several different locations (all away from marked trails) to try to track the animals at different times of the year.

To date, fifteen different species have been captured on camera, with ungulates being the most commonly caught. The most frequent sightings have been white-tail deer, followed by mule deer and then elk. Other species seen include moose, red squirrel, skunk, black bear, red fox, coyote, raven, mallard, pileated woodpecker, dusky grouse, cougar and dog.

A night-vision shot of a cougar walking between trees as everything is covered in snow

The crew has the impression from a combination of the cameras and observation that animals are moving farther into the Park, away from the more heavily used areas. Even the white-tail deer are more numerous away from the locations closest to heavy use.

Ungulates are found throughout the park during the winter, but in the spring the great bulk of the ungulates move to the Sunflower Hill area, where fresh vegetation is to be found. And predators tend to follow their prey species.

Winter is a hard time for wildlife, with food hard to find, and by spring-time their reserves are low. This means that any extra stress from human presence or dog harassment can be disastrous for the animal, even though it may not be immediately visible. It is important to keep our presence and our pets in check and give the wildlife space.

The project has not been very successful in capturing images of the smaller animals in the Park, but the crew continues to modify placements of the cameras in attempts to catch the other species in the Park.

All photos from wildlife cameras

A skunk walks up a game trail between trees


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