We’ve received a final update on Team Moose’s activities in Churchill, Manitoba. While some of us are still dearly hoping to see some of the larger, four-legged arctic fauna, it would appear that the gang in Churchill is incredibly lucky…perhaps too lucky? Thank goodness for bear monitors!
From Doug Currie, team leader:
Team Moose successfully completed its final day of collecting in Churchill. Our timing was good as there now seems to be an inordinate number of bears in the area.
Today we saw a total of five bears, including a sow and two cubs. None of them were close enough to seriously disrupt our activities; but we noted that the sow and cubs were headed in the general direction of one of our traplines. Sure enough, we later discovered that the cubs had great fun chewing on our yellow pan traps!
Our only close-range visitor was a single large caribou that skirted a trapline as it headed toward Ramsay Lake. We weren’t sure whether it was trying to avoid the biting flies, or whether it was trying to escape something larger. Fortunately, we were once again accompanied by Carley, our ever vigilant bear monitor.
Tomorrow is repacking day. And on Thursday we board a late morning flight to Winnipeg. Anna, Jana and Patrick will carry on to Iqaluit for a further two weeks of fieldwork, where they will be joined by new Team Leader Chris Buddle. Meanwhile, Doug will try to even-out his ‘farmer tan’ in Toronto, before departing for warmer climes in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. Stay tuned for more exciting news from Team Moose as they enter into the final leg of their 2010 field season!
Patrick, Anna, Jana, Carley - the last day in Churchill, Manitoba
Posted in Field Season 2010, Team Moose
Tagged Anna Solecki, Churchill, Doug Currie, Jana Aker, Manitoba, Patrick Schaefer, Polar Bear, Polar Bear Express, Team Moose, Travel
In the words of team leader, Doug Currie:
We’re now into the home stretch at Churchill! Today was ‘Aquatics Day’, and tomorrow we decommission our traplines. This afternoon’s collecting activities were interrupted when a polar bear suddenly appeared from a thicket of willows — less than 200m from where we were picking one of our aquatics samples. As our attention was focussed intently on the sorting trays, it was fortunate that our Bear Monitor was keeping a watchful eye! We quickly gathered our gear and walked briskly towards the vehicle, which was parked some 50 meters from where we were collecting. The bear was evidently only curious about us, and retreated back into the willows, only to reappear again as we drove away. We finished sorting the sample in an open tundra site, well away from our uninvited guest.
And here’s the proof…wow!
Polar bear at Churchill, Manitoba
Moose: mobbed by merciless mosquitos.
Goose: likin’ the lichen.
Kug: finding flies in fog.
Posted in Field Season 2010, Team Goose, Team Kug, Team Moose
Tagged bug jackets, Churchill, Kugluktuk, Manitoba, mosquitoes, Nunavut, Quebec, Schefferville
Team Goose: is in training for a gig as a NASCAR pit crew (they’ve been changing a lot of tires).
Team Goose...changing yet another tire.
Team Moose: is traveling in style on the Polar Express, en route to Manitoba.
Team Moose...enjoying Happy Hour on the Polar Express
Team Kug: is sharing a love of entomological field work with others.
Kenneth, Crystal's new bear monitor, sorting through an aquatic catch
Posted in Field Season 2010, Sampling techniques/protocol, Team Goose, Team Kug, Team Moose
Tagged Anna Solecki, aquatics, Christine Roussel, Churchill, happy hour, Manitoba, Patrick Schaefer, Polar Bear Express, Quebec, Sarah Loboda, Schefferville