Tracking Wildlife in the KNP
In May 2022, four cameras were placed in strategic locations in the KNP as part of the Wildlife Camera Project to get a better idea of what species are using what areas of the Park and how common they are.
As you might have guessed, the most common species captured by the cameras has been deer. The interesting thing is that, while all the deer within the City are mule deer, most of the deer in the KNP are whitetail deer.
Elk are the next most numerous species seen in the Park, but images of squirrel, skunk, pileated woodpecker, moose, black bear, raven, red fox and coyote have also been captured. Most of the time, the animals seem oblivious to the cameras but occasionally, an animal has come right up to look at or sniff the camera!
While the cameras have captured a number of images, some sites that seemed to have all the right conditions have resulted in few images of wildlife. Are there few animals there or is the camera not in the right place?
There are a number of factors to consider when placing a trail camera, including surrounding habitat, direction camera is facing, height off the ground and time of year. The crew continues to fine-tune the placement of the cameras in their attempt to document the wildlife using the KNP.
In the meantime, the snow cover is making it easier to see where ground dwellers are moving or living. The tracks of fox, marten, rabbit, deer, elk, moose, squirrel and grouse are helping to determine new locations for the cameras.
What has become evident is that visual and auditory identifications, tracks and camera sightings all complement each other and help to create a more complete picture of wildlife in the KNP.