Wild Suburbia has grown!

Wild Suburbia has been very successful over the last 2 years.  We are nearing 500+ observations and are working on analyzing the observations that everyone has sent us from our beginning in 2012 to August 2014.  From there, we plan to make WS a permanent long-term monitoring program, where we can examine the long term patterns of how these species are expanding or declining in the region.

I want to thank everyone once again that has helped us continue this project and collect good data.  

More recently is expanding the area we are looking at to NYC and Long Island.  The Mianus Gorge has studied the ecology of coyotes and other species that live in NYC Parks since 2010.  Coyotes in particular seem to be expanding their range and we expect them to cross into Queens and eventually Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  You can learn more about this project at our other website, at The Gotham Coyote Project.

This is an exciting event, but it is impossible for us to monitor this huge area ourselves.  The Wild Suburbia model is an excellent way for us to enlist and interact with the community, and hopefully find those first few founders that make it across the East River/Long Island Sound and manage to find a home on Long Island.

Thus Wild Suburbia is now hosting 2 surveys:
  1. Our original survey focusing on bobcat, coyote, fox, bear, and fisher in Westchester, Fairfield, and other "upstate" areas, and,
  2. A new "Long Island" survey that focuses on sightings of coyotes, red fox, and (a new one) gray fox sightings in New York City and Long Island.
Now when you click on the survey link on the right sidebar, you'll be taken to a page that lets you pick which survey you want to do, based on the region in which you live or where you saw the animal.

Lastly, many of you have been employing trail cameras, aka camera traps, to see what critters live near your property.  Most of the pics on our picture page come from such cameras used by our participants.  In the coming months we are looking at ways to allow those who have trail cameras on their property to submit their pictures and the associated info (model of camera, dates of deployment, how long did you have the camera out, etc.).  These types of techniques are a more reliable method for getting the type of data we are looking for, and are a tremendously fun way to learn about local wildlife.

If you are interested in getting a trail cam of your own, there are many brands and most will get good pictures (Reconyx and Moultrie are the most popular brands).  The quality/price difference comes from the level of weatherproofing and overall toughness of the unit and the shutter speed.  To catch fast moving animals that could run past the camera very quickly, you need a very fast shutter, and for hard research purposes we recommend Reconyx brand.  But many other cameras exist for less expensive price tags, and with a bit of homework you can find a reliable camera for a decent price.