Year of the Mammal Mountain Kids: you have a big job. As scientists and wildlife biologists, your group of animals is diverse! Diverse means they are very different from one another. They are as big as a Black Bear and as quick as Pronghorn Antelope. They are also as small as a Jumping Mouse and as quiet as a Bobcat.
To do this work you have to be expert at noticing what others miss. You need to be able to track. For every mammal you will see there will be hundreds you won’t see but you can discover them by the signs they leave behind. Tracks, scats, beds, burrows, fur, trails, all will help you to discover what passed by a week ago, yesterday, an hour earlier or two minutes before.
Your mammals are in the mountains all year long but they will change their behavior and even their bodies to survive. Every season these changes will happen and you can observe them. In winter they will hibernate, migrate or adapt. Our local wildlife biologists need you to help them study mammals this year. You are a Mountain Kid so it will be natural to be curious, creative and courageous. No wrestling bears is required.
Now that the weather is starting to cool as we head into Fall, our local mammals will change with the seasons like we do in many ways. Our activities change. Our t-shirts will add a hoodie or coat. Since you also study the weather in 3rd Grade, notice how colder or warmer, wetter or drier conditions will affect where mammals are and what they do. Have an awesome year!
Here are a few guiding habits for your year.
- Go outside everyday
- Record the weather every day - date, wind, sunny/cloudy/rainy, high and low temperature
- Record every mammal you see, or don’t see. Remember that tracks, scats and more are evidence that something was there. Where was it going? What was it doing? Don’t ignore the grey squirrel that lives in your yard. Get to know it and go further by asking what is it doing.
- Field journal one adventure at least once a week