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 →

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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 →

One Hole, One Month

For a little over 1 month last semester, some of my research students decided to aim a trail camera at a hole in the ground. we did this for several reasons. First of all, we were interested in finding out if any animals were using the hole, and if so, which species. Secondly, we wanted to know if different... Continue Reading →

The Wolverine Way- Book Review

Chadwick, Douglas. (2010). The Wolverine Way. Ventura, CA: Patagonia Books. In 2004, Douglas Chadwick joined a 5-year wolverine study in Glacier National Park. In this book, he documents his time as part of this project. Chadwick documents the natural history of this remarkable animal and goes into detail about the experiment itself. While reading this book,... 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 →

The Ecology of Fear, Part IV

Since coyotes do inhabit neighborhoods and other urban environments, humans must learn how best to live with them. In Part I of this series, we looked at the specific coyote "problem" in Iredell County. In Part II, we learned about the natural history of coyotes, and in  Part III we attempted to clear up misconceptions... Continue Reading →

The Ecology of Fear, Part III

This is Part III of a series on coyotes. Part I can be found here and Part II here. Native stories about coyotes tend to focus on their mischievous and cunning behavior as well as their apparent lack of morals. Coyotes have faced intense pressure from hunters, dating back to when Europeans  first arrived in... Continue Reading →

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