And so it begins…

It was a long trip from the UK to the Kluane Lake Research Station for everyone on the Yukon & Alaska field course. The eventful journey involved 4 flights for most, delayed and missed flights and for me, a detour to Germany? It was all in good cheer however, and those on delayed/missed flights received a flood of support from the lecturers and cheers from fellow students.

Despite spending most of the first day travelling, our wildlife spotting kicked off with a bang! You know you’re off to a good start when on our first stop we got to see a group of several bald eagles and the dams of some beavers which had changed the hydrology of the surrounding habitat to create the wetland which contained enough prey to draw the eagles to the area. We also managed to spot a lynx sat by the side of the road preening, which was awesome as for many of us, lynx are exactly the sort of rarely seen species which drew us to this field course.
Our main stop for the day was at the Da Ku Cultural Centre of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. We looked around at the local artwork and displays on show and were lucky enough to be given a talk about the glacial and ecological history of the area, including stories from her culture about the surrounding wilderness.

Photo Credit: Emily Gilford

Our second day opened with a bang when we spotted this bear on our way out to do some tracking of prints and scats!

Photo Credit: Joanna Griffith

The rest of the day has been filled with discussions and workshops, my favourite of which was the camera-trapping practical. Camera traps are extensively useful to ecologists in surveying habitats as they allow us to see animals which might be frightened off by our physical presence, and to conserve time. We’ve used our new tracking skills to scout out ideal sites and left the cameras out overnight so we’ll share our results with you when we find them!

Remember to keep following our activities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #fieldcoursefortnight and #fieldyukonalaska!

saap201    September 14th, 2018    Yukon    ,

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