South Shore Watershed Association
Post-Covid Wildlife Monitoring Program
The goal of the "Post-COVID Wildlife Monitoring Program" was to understand wildlife activity patterns influenced by the presence of human activities in different areas. The research was based on remote cameras that provided direct observation in multiple sites. With these tools, we were able to research wildlife activity patterns and gain a better understanding of how they function in an ecosystem. Animal behaviour such as stress, migration, foraging behaviour, species diversity, mating behaviour, and anthropogenic actions were analyzed using the photos and visual observations.
The project started with three trail cameras set up at three different locations, including Westmoreland River Nature Park (Crapaud, PE) and Ducks Unlimited Pond (Augustine Cove, PE). The third camera was set at Linden Hill Pond (DeSable, PE) a little late in the winter season. In partnership with Forest, Fish and Wildlife Division, we placed two cameras at the end of the summer and have been collecting data ever since.
We had a few issues with the cameras, including one from which the SD card was stolen, consequently leading to no data for a period of time. Another issue was overgrown vegetation that blocked the camera shot. The data was identified and provided a clear understanding of resident species, habits and health.
The result of these months collecting photos demonstrated that, at these three sites, the wildlife was healthy, especially Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) population. Red foxes in the area were healthy with no signs of mange. The greatest diversity of species was found in the Westmoreland River Nature Park. Monitoring these sites allowed us to make a quick response related to signs of disease, foraging behaviour and stress factors.