F&M professors Dan Ardia, Eric Lonsdorf and Sarah Dawson, along with a group of students and volunteers, recently put a series of nighttime trail cameras in the field along the stream at Millport. They were interested in monitoring the coyotes and red foxes that have been seen in the area, and testing a variety of cameras for reliability.
At the end of the two-week sampling, no foxes or coyotes were identified. However, the cameras did capture a number of raccoons, deer, cats and possums -- along with curious humans! The cameras have been redeployed in other rural Lancaster County locations for the time being, but will return to Millport in the winter during denning season, when foxes and coyotes might return to Millport to have their pups.
Ardia and Lonsdorf are interested in habitat use by foxes, and Lonsdorf and Dawson are interested in ecological impacts of coyotes on the surrounding ecosystem. Their previous research has suggested that coyotes might be reducing forest damage by deer, which, in turn, may lead to an increased number of songbirds.