Hidden Cameras Spot Wildlife Returning Home

Hidden Cameras Spot Wildlife Returning Home After 2018 Megafire

The Mendocino Complex Fire ravaged UC’s Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) in the summer of 2018, turning the Northern California property’s grassy, oak-dotted hillsides into a smoldering, ash-covered wasteland.

“It resembled Mordor from The Lord of the Rings, to put it mildly. It was hard to imagine much surviving,” said University of California, Berkeley professor of environmental science, management, and policy Justin Brashares.

However, just a few months after the fire, animals like coyotes, gray foxes, and black-tailed jackrabbits were seen returning to the area. This was discovered by a grid of motion-sensor camera traps that Brashares’ lab has been using at the HREC, a multidisciplinary research and education facility situated on the banks of the Russian River about 13 miles south of Ukiah, since 2016.

“We were surprised that many species seem to be resistant [to the impacts of the fire],” said A worker in Brashares’ lab is graduate student Kendall Calhoun at UC Berkeley.

Calhoun is the principal investigator of a recent study that examined more than 500,000 camera grid images taken at the HREC before and after the Mendocino Complex Fire to determine how the blaze affected small- and medium-sized mammals there.

The study, which appeared today in the journal Ecosphere, is one of the first studies to compare continuous wildlife observations made before and after a megafire. It is also one of the few studies to concentrate on how megafires affect California’s oak woodlands. Contrary to the conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, oak woodland ecosystems make up a significant portion of the state but are underrepresented in wildfire research.

Read More: How Long Do Security Cameras Keep Footage?

Source: berkeley news

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x