Anna Carlson, one of our MS students, finished the field-based portion of her research!
For her summer field season, she set up non-invasive sampling equipment to collect fur from small mammals and mesopredators within 16 parks in the Greater Philadelphia area. These fur-collecting devices were designed to collect fur from small mammals on tape as they moved through PVC pipes baited with seeds and meal worms. Simultaneously, fur from mesopredators was collected when these animals rubbed against coarse fiber pads and tape that were wrapped around wooden stakes and scented with a trapping lure.
This fall, Anna will analyze these fur samples. The fur will be identified to species, then cleaned, processed and sent to Cornell University where it will undergo stable isotope analysis. The resulting data will include information about dietary carbon sources and trophic levels of the animals from which hair was collected and will help to elucidate how predator and prey diets may vary across the rural-urban gradient in the Greater Philadelphia area. A raccoon caught on camera, interacting with a baited lure