Small Mammal Study
March 24, 2023
We arrived to Carolina Wildlands on Friday afternoon and set up all of our small mammal traps. We spent the rest of the evening doing school work. On Saturday morning we checked our traps, but sadly there were no small mammals. After closing the traps for the day, Kimberly and I went with Clay while he checked all of the game cameras. While we were riding on the side by side we stopped to observe a flock of turkeys on the trail. For the rest of the afternoon we played with the foster puppies and helped feed them as well as spending time outside with the dogs and horses. We then reset the traps that night and went back to the apartment. On Sunday morning we then went to check the traps and we had one Peromyscus mice capture.
February 25, 2023
This was my first weekend back at Carolina Wildlands this semester, and I can say it was definitely successful. This weekend we stayed in the apartments above the barn, and they were so nice. Mr. Brad also purchased some more small mammal traps for us to use, so we were able to put out 40 traps both nights instead of just 20. When we arrived Friday evening, we were able to see the prescribed fire that was managed by the South Carolina Forestry Commission near the “unsafe bridge” that will help to increase the diversity in that area. It was great to be able to see this event in person, since I have only seen videos or read articles about it. We then set out our traps in the field around Mr. Brad’s house.
Saturday morning, we had 6 small mammals in our traps. In one trap there was a Carolina Wren who accidentally walked into it. We were able to release her safely and continue checking for small mammals. We then closed the traps for the remainder of the day and went back to the apartments. The rest of the day included studying, playing with the puppies and dogs, and walking around the beautiful property. We then reset the traps before sunset. Sunday morning when checking the traps, we had 9 small mammals. We trapped a new species we have not gotten before. We believe it was a Hispid Cotton Rat due to the size and short tail. Some other species we identified were a House Mouse and some in the Peromyscus genus. One trap included two small female mice together. This is the most captures in one weekend so far throughout the entire research project and we were able to collect a lot of data from it.
November 18, 2022
This weekend we were only able to come down for one night, but that didn’t stop us from seeing and hearing many different members of nature. We woke up Saturday morning and went to check our traps that we set out on Friday. While driving to our location we saw a deer walking in the path a few yards ahead of us. We also were able to hear a Golden Crowned Kinglet bird and saw an Eastern Phoebe. Our trapping was successful and we caught one mouse, which was surprising for only having the traps set for one night!
November 4, 2022
Although this weekend did not bring in a lot of data for our research, it brought a lot of different experiences for me. When we arrived Friday evening, we met with the students from Wingate University to listen to Laura and Paul Tedeschi do their presentations on Nature Journaling. It was very interesting to hear about Edwin Way Teal’s work and his life experiences while trying to find the perfect spot for him and his wife to live, which resulted Trail Wood Sanctuary. It was also very neat to hear about how Paul and Laura have to spend 6 weeks out of their house for Artists in Residence to stay in solitude.
On Saturday morning, Paul and Laura were able to go with us to check our small mammal traps and we were able to explain our research in more detail by walking them through what we do each weekend. After checking our traps, we were able to go with Sydney from Winthrop University and follow her and her professor Dr. Kiyoshi Sasaki while checking on two of their Eastern box turtles. It was great to see their research in person and really understand how many different projects can be performed at Carolina Wildlands all at the same time.
On Saturday afternoon, Kimberly and I were able to go and ride the horses with Pati. It was so fun to be able to do that during our free time and be able to learn all the different sayings the horse would respond to. After checking our traps on Sunday, we told Laura and Paul goodbye after answering some questions for them on their camera.
October 14, 2022
We arrived @ Southern Eights on Friday @ around 4:00 p.m. We were able to meet some students from Wingate University and learn about
what kind of work they were doing. We were also able to explain our research to them and show them the small mammal traps we are using.
On Saturday morning, after we checked our traps, we began to do some bird watching with our professor, Dr. Knowles. We saw a Northern
Flicker, Eastern Bluebird, American Crow, and a Palm Warbler.
After bird watching, we headed over to Firework Pond and sat in the mobile observational trailer that Mr. Brad Turley had set up for us,
and observed the pond and prairie. We identified many different grasshoppers, one being a Red-legged Grasshopper. We also saw a
Turkey Vulture and a few turtles in the pond. When we had some down time, a few of us girls went down to Thompson Creek behind the
Learning Center and walked around down there. We saw a Laugher Moth and a Northern Cricket Frog. We decided Saturday night was
a great time to have a bonfire so Mr. Turley kindly brought us some firewood and s’mores ingredients and set it all up for us. It was very nice
to just sit by the fire and have some quiet time in such a beautiful and peaceful place.
September 16, 2022
Hello! My name is Morgan Warner, and I am a senior at Francis Marion University who is helping with this research. This weekend was basically a training session for me and my classmates. We arrived at Southern 8ths Friday late afternoon and began to set everything up. We set up twenty small mammal traps and then spaced them out in the wooded area to the right side of the Learning Center. We also set out some of the traps on the rocks near the creek in the wooded area. The weather was very warm Friday, in the 80s, but Saturday morning around 7:00 a.m. when we went out to retrieve the traps it was a lot cooler, in the mid 60s. We did not trap any small mammals this week, but this was expected for the first time, and we expect to have more data when we are able to do two consecutive nights of traps.
We spent the night in the Learning Center, which was very nice with the full kitchen and bathroom. On Saturday morning, Mr. Turley took us on a tour of the property. Instantly what stood out to me was just how beautiful the area was. We were able to see where several students came in the Spring semester and planted trees, and we saw the prairies and the bridge over the creek. While walking through the field where the trees were planted, we saw two different types of caterpillars, one being the Pandora sphinx moth. We also saw an orange butterfly which we believe was a Gulf Fritillary.
Thank you for having us and making us all feel so welcomed. I am very excited for the weekends to come!