More on tunnels for footprint tracking

I include here a picture of the tunnel with its wooden board. I have to move the sponge to the middle of the board. The tunnels have to be placed in the field and covered with stones, branches, etc. some weeks before they are employed, so animals get used to them and are not afraid to enter. This is also true because they need time to discover them. After that they usually start to mark them, so other individuals are attracted and find them more quickly.

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During the last Spring I got nice footprints of stoats. These ones are done with the ink of glycerin and carbon black. As I revised the tunnels and renew the ink every day, the ink stood relatively wet during the day. The sides of each square correspond to 0.5 by 0.5 cm. You also can see other rodent footprints in the picture, wood mice for example.

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I placed these tunnels near Hautepierre-Le-Chetelet, in Franche-Comté (France). It is a very good area because it has lots of hedges and grasslands with high densities of water voles. Sometimes I could see these stoats near my tunnels and once I was very lucky and could get these nice pictures.

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During that time many students, colleagues and technicians helped me, mainly from Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, FREDON Franche-Comté and Fédération Départementale des Chasseurs du Doubs. I was also supported by a postdoc from Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (Spain), with EU Funds. Many thanks for that 🙂

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