Our September Photo of the Month is this adorable photo of a beaver family snuggling up by the Connecticut River near Turners Falls, MA. Thank you to one of our new volunteers, Natalia Kina, for submitting this high quality phone camera shot!
All kinds of cool wildlife can be spotted on walks and hikes when you keep your eyes peeled for them! If you ever see any mammals from afar while you're outdoors, please don't hesitate to take out your phone, zoom in, and snap a picture! We welcome submissions taken on all types of devices, from phones, to trail cameras, to Ring door cams.
PSA: MassMammals @ the Amherst Farmers' Market!
After visiting farmers' markets in Framingham and Pittsfield earlier this summer, the MassMammals Team is going to continue to visit farmer’s markets around Massachusetts this fall to recruit more mammal enthusiasts and spread the word about community science! This Saturday (9/30), members of our team will have a stand at the Amherst Farmers' Market, so make sure to stop by and say hello while picking up your produce for the week if you're in the area!
If you’d like to see us in your area this fall, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We bring example trail cameras, mammal skulls that are welcome to be handled gently (courtesy of the Beneski Museum of Natural History!), field guides to answer any identification questions, and information on how to handle backyard visitors like bears and coyotes.
A photo of a bobcat taken from the trail camera set up by students from Smith Academy in collaboration with MassMammals
Citizen/Community Science has been a hot topic recently, with MassMammals being showcased in articles from the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Boston 25 News. Both articles highlight the importance that community volunteers play in helping us collect data to analyze.
The Boston 25 News article highlights our MassBears interactive map that gets updated through volunteer trail camera photos. Through this map, we are able to get an accurate picture of the Massachusetts bear population, but we need more volunteers to help fill the gaps in our map.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette article calls attention to our education team’s efforts in putting together lessons for local schools to get community scientists of all ages involved in our research. Making information about mammals and bears available to the public (including young students) is what citizen science is all about! We thank these news outlets for helping us spread the word! Check out the articles to find out more about our efforts and the impacts that our volunteers make.
Happy Fall from the MassMammals Team! 🍁
Photo submitted by Meredith Feltus
Now that it's officially fall, we only have a couple more months left to submit bear sightings before they go into hibernation! Just like we humans are busy bundling up in layers and eating everything pumpkin-spice flavored to prepare for the cold weather, local mammals are also starting their autumnal rituals.
Black bears like the one pictured above will soon engage in a process called hyperphagia, where they eat as much as they can to prepare for their long winter hibernation. In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for black bears in your area bulking up on ripened corn, stands of oak and beech, and, occasionally, bird feeders and unsecured trash, so be conscious of where you're leaving your trash out.
Did you know? From September to mid-October, males of the typically solitary moose species seek out other males to fight for female mates during mating, or rutting season. During rutting season, moose shed the soft, fuzzy skin on their antlers, called velvet, which transforms their antlers into sharp tools that they will use to spar with fellow moose competition. Their neck muscles can also expand to twice their size during this time. As the fall foliage starts to change color, make sure to keep a safe distance from these incredible creatures.
Source: National Geographic
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