Sciensational Sssnakes!!

Conservation Through Education

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pelee Island Trip Report

Thanks to everyone who went on the Pelee Island trip in May for your contributions to another successful trip!

Thanks for your hard work on the various projects we undertook: tree cutting/brush removal for the red cedar savannah restoration at the Pelee Island Winery, red cedar planting, bicycle repair at the Wilds, garlic mustard pulling (no Pelee trip is complete without it!), and assorted efforts at the Meadowlark Organic Farm. Especially, thanks for planting so many extra trees in the rain- not many groups would decide that since the weather wasn't great they might as well keep planting! We got lots done and impressed everyone we worked with. A further note about the Pelee Island Winery- they have been very supportive of conservation efforts on the island over the last few years, sponsoring the Endangered Species Festival each September, and now donating land for this Alvar-Savannah Restoration project, as well as money to fund the work! They also make fabulous wine- we enjoyed some of it on the trip:-) So if you're considering a buying a bottle of wine in the future, please have a look at the ones from the Pelee Island Winery!

It was great to see the high water levels at Fish Point and Lighthouse Point Nature Reserves, after so many years of low lake levels. It should help out the turtles. Unfortunately the whether wasn't terribly co-operative, so we only saw a few things while we were there. And since I accidentally took my camera for a swim at Fish Point, I didn't get very many pictures of the weekend, but I am happy to report that it is working again now that it has dried out!

In case anyone wants the numbers, the Wilds of Pelee herp survey results for this year were: 6 fox snakes, 1 water snake, 70 brown snakes, 103 normal garter snakes and 29 melanistic garter snakes, plus 1 painted turtle. These numbers are in line with previous years, except for last year when the numbers were astoundingly high. The turtle was a first, though with the addition of the new ponds it isn't surprising.
In total, we probably saw about 240 snakes over the weekend, a little lower than average due to the weather, and possibly our smaller group size. Or, perhaps it was just that Dave Smith wasn't with us this year:-). However, that is still a lot of snakes to see in a weekend. Painted turtles, american toads, green frogs, bullfrogs and smallmouth salamanders rounded out our herp sightings to 9 species.

We were also interviewed by CBC radio show about the trip and our activities, and a short piece about us aired the following week. Nice to get some additional publicity for our conservation efforts!

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 9:03 AM | Comments (1)  

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Excellent, love it!
» » » — Anonymous at 3:19 PM, July 13, 2006  

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