Archive | August 2018

August #SuperSnap

This month’s #SuperSnap goes to this impressive buck giving the classic “camera stare.” Thanks for the nomination, @momsabina! Look closely, you may also notice a buddy in the background! Check out the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Southwest CWD, Predator, Prey Project for more information about white tailed deer in Wisconsin.

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Continue classifying photos on Zooniverse and hashtagging your favorites for a chance to be featured in the next #SuperSnap blog post. Check out all of the nominations by searching “#SuperSnap” on the Snapshot Wisconsin Talk boards.

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Announcement: Educator Resources Updates!

Riding on the wake of Snapshot Wisconsin’s statewide launch last week (see here), we are excited to announce updates to our educator resources. Snapshot Wisconsin is a fantastic opportunity to engage students in outdoor learning and to teach them about local wildlife. With over 200 educators enrolled in the Snapshot program, we thought it would be beneficial to have a wide-ranging group of lesson plans and resources available.

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Lesson Plan Updates

We are excited to announce that our suite of lesson plans is now freely available on our website (see here). These lesson plans, including “Wildlife Detectives” and “Measuring Biodiversity”, have been designed for use by educators whether or not they are hosting a trail camera! Our 10 lesson plans can be used for students of all ages, from pre-k through adulthood, and are an excellent way to incorporate exciting concepts about Wisconsin wildlife into classrooms or nature centers. To fit our lesson plans in with curriculum, we’ve made sure to meet Wisconsin’s Standards for Science.

“When I began using Snapshot Wisconsin and hosting a Trail Cam, I realized how much fun it would be to develop lessons for our local school that has a school forest and is hosting a DNR Trail Cam. The pictures from Snapshot Wisconsin inject excitement into the Wisconsin Science and Math standards. They transform abstract concepts into local experiences.” – Mary from Bayfield County

Additionally, check out our flashcard collection on our lesson plan page. These printable activities are a fun way to learn and practice animal species identification in Wisconsin. Test your skills with beginner through expert level flash cards. Below is an example from our “canid collection”.

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NEW: Educator Newsletter

SIGNUP to receive our biannual educator newsletter for lesson plan updates and other classroom resources. This is a newsletter designed specifically for educators and separate from The Snapshot, our monthly volunteer e-newsletter.

Connect with other Educators

On our Zooniverse site, where volunteers from around the world can classify Wisconsin wildlife captured on Snapshot cameras, we have a page dedicated to connecting educators. Visit this talk board to discuss the use of Snapshot Wisconsin in the classroom.

A special thank you to all the educators who reviewed and provided helpful feedback on our lesson plans. YOU make updates to the project like this possible!

 

Snapshot Saturday: August 25th, 2018

Happy Snapshot Saturday from this adorable Sawyer County bob-kitten!

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/. Classify photos from all the trail cameras at www.snapshotwisconsin.org.

First Rare Species Sighting: Moose

One of the objectives of Snapshot Wisconsin is to record the occurrence of rare species including: moose, cougar, Canada lynx, marten, jackrabbit, Whooping crane, Spotted skunk, and wolverine. With a statewide network of nearly 1,300 trail cameras, sooner or later we were bound to capture one of these rare Wisconsin species. Two years into the project, Snapshot Wisconsin captured its first  – moose (Alces alces)!

Oneida County moose

Earlier this month, we received an email from a volunteer in Oneida county with the subject ‘Picture of Moose.’ We nearly jumped out of our seats exclaiming “Moose! Moose! Moose!”

From the size and proportions of the animal, it was easy to tell that it was indeed moose.  Moose can reach upwards of 1,500 pounds and stand up to 7 feet tall, dwarfing our commonly seen White-tailed deer. When we shared the picture around, our Wildlife Research team leader remarked, “That part of the state is definitely moose-y.” The bogs of Oneida, Vilas, and Iron counties have had the most moose sightings in the recent years, making “moose-y” an apt description.

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Vilas County moose captured on a Snapshot Wisconsin camera

Upon querying our Snapshot Wisconsin database, we found another moose identified on a camera in Vilas county – this one hosted by an educator. Both of these sightings were from spring this year, and both were correctly identified by the volunteer – hurray, no ‘moose-takes’ there!

Moose are categorized as a species of special concern in Wisconsin due to their relatively low numbers, in 2016 there were only 32 possible or probable observations reported.

Whether you are a Zooniverse volunteer or a trail camera host, please let us know if you see a rare species in a Snapshot Wisconsin photo. If you spot them in the wild or on a personal trail camera, report the observation using the Wisconsin large mammal observation form. In the meantime, we hope you finding these pictures as ‘a-moos-ing’ as we do!

Snapshot Saturday: August 18th, 2018

Bringing literal meaning to the phrase “busy as a beaver,” this Snapshot Saturday features a bustling North American beaver, Castor canadensis, captured on an Oneida Snapshot camera!

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/. Classify photos from all the trail cameras at www.snapshotwisconsin.org.

Black River Falls Fieldwork

On our way up north for a recent outreach event, and I swung through Black River Falls to check two Snapshot Wisconsin cameras deployed for the elk reintroduction project. Black River Falls, located in central Wisconsin, is one of the three locations where Snapshot Wisconsin has a dense network of trail cameras to monitor the reintroduced elk populations. Trail cameras support data needed to make management decisions at the WDNR, all while capturing captivating photos of local wildlife.

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A reintroduced elk, Cervus canadensis, captured on a Snapshot Camera in northern Wisconsin

Being relatively new to the project, this was my first time doing fieldwork – and I couldn’t have been more excited! While our amazing Snapshot volunteers do the majority of fieldwork, we never shy away from an opportunity to get out in the woods as well. We suited up and grabbed our gear: a handheld GPS with coordinates entered for each camera site, swamp boots, bug nets, and camera equipment. We replaced one camera at the previously utilized camera site and moved the other to a better location, free of tall ferns and at the intersection of three wildlife trails. This was great opportunity for me to gain experience in the field and I look forward to future fieldwork opportunities!

Snapshot Saturday: August 11th, 2018

“What’s that you say? Snapshot Wisconsin is now accepting volunteers to host trail cameras STATEWIDE?” You heard right! Equipment and training are provided free to accepted applicants. Camera must be placed on private or public land of at least 10 acres, and checked once every three months.

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/. Classify photos from all the trail cameras at www.snapshotwisconsin.org.

Snapshot Wisconsin STATEWIDE!

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We are excited to announce that Snapshot Wisconsin is entering
Phase 2, meaning the project is now open in all 72 counties on both private and public land!

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Snapshot Wisconsin launched in 2016, starting off in only two counties. The project has since grown reaching 26 counties on privately owned lands, while accepted applications from educators and tribal affiliates statewide. Phase 2 of the project will provide an even more accurate “snapshot” of Wisconsin’s unique and diverse wildlife, while expanding the opportunity to all corners of the state for volunteers to experience firsthand the fauna occupying their wild lands.

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The Snapshot Wisconsin team is also debuting a collection of lesson plans, all incorporating photos, data, and concepts related to the project.

Visit our newly updated website for further information regarding the project, sign up for the monthly e-newsletter or to host your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera today!

August Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer of the Month is a new addition to the blog with the goal of highlighting volunteers that go above and beyond with their participation in Snapshot Wisconsin.

August’s Volunteer of the Month goes to Skylar from Marquette County!

Skylar has been with Snapshot Wisconsin for over two years, one of his motivations for joining the project was to bridge his interests in nature and technology. As a teacher, he utilizes his Snapshot Wisconsin camera to help connect students with the diverse wildlife residing in their school forest. When asked about his fondest memories with the project, Skylar responded:

“It was really amazing to see our photos of a fisher, or fishers, at the school forest contribute to the southward expansion of that species’ known range in our state. That was something that was really exciting to share with the students especially because it showed them clearly why their work on this project matters and how they are contributing to science that has an impact.”

Thank you, Skylar and the awesome students at High Marq! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.

Snapshot Saturday: August 4th, 2018

Check out this cow and calf duo captured on a Snapshot Wisconsin camera in the Black River State Forest. This elk calf already weighed 52 pounds when it was collared June 4th, 2018 – just two days after being born! Happy Snapshot Saturday!

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/. Classify photos from all the trail cameras at www.snapshotwisconsin.org.