mother doe with two spotted fawns in forest

Northshore Wildlife Science Network

An EERC Community Science Project –  Community scientists needed!

Beginning in the spring of 2021, the St. Edward Environmental Education and Research Center and UW Bothell are partnering with the local community to conduct a community science camera trap study of wildlife in the Northshore area (Kenmore, Kirkland, and Bothell). The Northshore area includes some of the most intact forest habitat in metro Seattle and its green spaces support a surprisingly high diversity of native wildlife. In earlier studies at St. Edward State Park, we have documented bobcats, coyotes, river otters, long-tailed weasels, and flying squirrels, among many other species.

One of the most urgent needs for conserving wildlife in urban parks and protected areas such as St. Edward is a better understanding of animals’ use of the lands surrounding the parks. In particular, how do these animals travel into and out of the parks? How do they use the residential and natural areas around parks? What areas outside parks provide the best habitat?

To answer these questions, we are recruiting volunteer community scientists to help conduct a study of wildlife in the Northshore area. Each community scientist will operate one of our motion-triggered wildlife cameras near their home and review the photo data collected by the camera. Community scientists will be members of a new Northshore Wildlife Science Network (NWSN) dedicated to developing a better understanding of the wildlife in our area.

If you would like to become a wildlife community scientist, please view the recording of our initial NWSN meeting in May 2021, in which we explain the project and the community-scientist responsibilities in greater detail.

Link to recording: https://washington.zoom.us/rec/share/CPv3TNF9U0ZZtO7KAI2M8JQSgwZT20KRy10oyWIUEfSQCZMtqBcSjCOhc9LGd_Ao.iHjwx23yZSRVn-o7

Anyone is eligible to participate. We are interested in wildlife use of all habitat types in the Northshore area. In fact, we are hoping for a wide range of camera locations that sample all types of habitats, even areas far from protected parks and green spaces. Our current study area extends from Lake Washington east to I-405 and Totem lake-Kirkland north to SR 522.

Each participant will operate a wildlife camera supplied by the project. Community scientists will periodically review the photo data collected by their camera, and upload their data to the Northshore Wildlife Science Network. We will be in regular communication with all community scientists to help with troubleshooting and data collection.

Through establishing a network of community scientists in the Northshore area, we hope to discover connections between land use and animal activity, with the goal of identifying the kinds of habitats and practices that favor wildlife. Given the high level of wildlife diversity in our area, we may also be able to define an achievable standard for wildlife-favorable habitat protection and conservation that can be applied in other urban areas in the Pacific Northwest. More generally, we hope that this project can help educate the community about the diversity of wildlife that lives among us, and how we can better share our habitat with our non-human neighbors.

Please fill out the interest form if you’re interested in participating: https://forms.gle/H8qqZB4odCgGZBVB9/

If you have any questions about this project, please contact nwsn@uw.edu.

Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nwsn21.

 


If you are interested in becoming involved in EERC Research at the Park (besides the wildlife study above) please send an inquiry and describe your interest to info@stedwardEERC.org. In addition to being involved with research in the park, you can practice science and natural history observation on your own while contributing valuable data to our knowledge of the park.