With a major snow storm forecast for today, I’m not too unhappy to spend a day not in the field but in front of a computer! The last 3 hours I was busy scanning through lots and lots of photos from the wildlife crossing structures, wolverine hairtrap sites, and texas gates (we try to find out which and how many animals cross the cattle guards/texas gates at the highway on and off ramps) .
We’ve been seeing lots of lynx tracks in the snow along the south side of the highway in the last few weeks. Thus it was not completely unexpected to see a lynx on one of the cameras, but the quality of the picture surprised me anyway. This one comes from an overpass, near Redearth Creek, it passed through only a few days ago. Lynx photos from crossing structures are rare and usually not very good, the infra-red cameras seem to have a hard time detecting them! They also seem to often just hop the fences or go straight through them instead of using the safe over- and underpasses (see photos in this previous post http://www.highwaywilding.org/blog/?p=33). So enjoy this beautiful picture!
Anybody who’s been out recently knows how difficult the snow is to walk in, even with snowshoes, but this guy seems to float on top of it! It’s quite warm at zero degrees Celsius (upper right corner of the photo), so the snow surface is probably not all that supportive. It really shows just how well the lynx is adapted to this habitat.
Compare with the mule deer, below. Different day, slightly different location, so the snow conditions may be very different, but a look at the deer’s tiny feet shows one reason why winter is that much harder for these animals, than for lynx.
… it’s still snowing outside, so back to coffee and office work!