The best part of scanning through the crossing structure pictures every 3 weeks is, when the animals are actually “doing” something. Not just walk through, but play, fight, mate, mark, hunt, or whatever else animals may be doing. It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while I’m lucky.
Take this young wolf, for example. It used to be black, but now it’s more brown/grey, but still with a dark face. A week ago it seemed to be on a solitary early morning mission: it first got detected in the front of the Sawback underpass, at 7:10 am.
It then walked along the highway for 3 km, passing another camera on the way,
crossed the highway at the Wolverine Creek underpass at 07:51,
then crossed back under the highway at the next underpass 1 km further along, 20 minutes later.
We don’t know what it was doing and where it went from there. Just a little morning jog, or did it have a specific place it wanted to go to? We get so few glimpses into the lives of wild animals, especially when they are not disturbed by us, that I’m excited when I come across a sequence like this.
Another surprise came from one of the small culverts we’re monitoring. Some of them are quite small, and thus we expect only little things to go through. Yesterday I analyzed the trackplates that Tony had retrieved two weeks ago, while I was on vacation. I was quite surprised when I saw the tracks of two wolves on the plates from one of the culverts, which has a diameter of just under a meter.
I’ll take a picture of the culvert next time I’m there, to show how small it is. Sure, the wolves can walk through, probably upright without having to crawl, but I was still surprised that they will use such small culverts when there’s many large ones in the same area. Maybe they were just curious to see where the tunnel goes?