Gray Fox

Gray foxes, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, are omnivorous members of the canine family. Their diet ranges from mammals and birds to invertebrates, fruits, and nuts depending on the season and what is available. As you can see from the figure above, we didn't catch any on camera from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There could be many... Continue Reading →



The most numerous animal we "caught" on our cameras was the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. This species is sometimes referred to as a keystone herbivore, which means that they fulfill such an important role in an ecosystem that if they were to disappear, other populations would be altered tremendously. White-tailed deer alter the abundance of... Continue Reading →


One of the most common critters caught on our camera traps were raccoons. The graph above shows when they were most active in Statesville. The northern, or common raccoon, Procyon lotor, is an opportunistic omnivore. This simply means that they will eat just about anything. This is one of the adaptations that allows them to... Continue Reading →

Eastern Cottontails

From December 2016 to December 2017, we set out to understand how animals move in Statesville, NC. Motion-activated trail cameras were deployed throughout a section of the city's greenway section. The camera traps were randomly placed in a grid location and then rotated every two weeks. Thousands of pictures later, we discovered some interesting things... Continue Reading →

Huggin’ Trees by Design

How do you survive if you're not the most dominant canine in an area? If you have to share space and potential food with your faster and sometimes much larger cousin, how do you and your kin thrive day in and day out? These are questions the gray fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, must answer. The common gray... Continue Reading →

Cautious Around the Trails

Leo Tolstoy once stated that the most important advice he could give would be to "stop a moment, cease your work, look around you." It's doubtful Tolstoy had white-tailed deer in mind when he said this, but surely this advice applies to cervids, especially those living near areas that attract walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Over the... Continue Reading →

Not Playing by the “Rules”

Legend tells of a fox as black as night, so that it can never be seen in a man's shadow. Although sometimes seen in juveniles, this black-phase phenomenon is quite rare. Foxes love urban green patches where they can hunt and also enjoy a life of secrecy. Remarkably, in ecosystems with larger predators, they continue... Continue Reading →

Follow the Crowd and Keep Chewing

The story says that in 1832 a scientist found a deer tooth in a Virginia cave. After close examination, he noticed that the tooth was hollow. That simple observation allowed the scientist to name this animal Odocoileus virginianus. Odocoileus comes from a combination of the Greek words for "tooth" (odontis) and "hollow" (koilos). White-tailed deer... Continue Reading →

Movement Patterns in Statesville, NC

Animals move for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include finding food, finding shelter, and avoiding predators and/or competitors. We are interested in not only what types of animals can be found in and around Statesville, but also when these animals move. We are really interested in exploring patterns of animal movement in... Continue Reading →

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