Using a motion sensor activated camera in Round Valley, members of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust have made a startling discovery.
With a camera purchased with grant funds from the Norcross Wildlife Foundation, ESLT documented 15 different species over a period of five months, ranging from tiny deer mice to the tawny mountain lion.
“Wildlife migration corridors are defined as historic routes that many different wildlife species use to travel between different types of crucial habitats,” said the ESLT’s Karen Ferrell-Ingram.
“Commonly, migration corridors link winter ranges where wildlife can avoid deep snow and find food to summer ranges where wildlife breed, give birth, and regain strength by consuming abundant plants or other nourishment.
“A diversity of healthy habitats and wide-open spaces ensure that wildlife can find mates, food, and room to roam.
“Locally, migration corridors in the Eastern Sierra are used by insects such as monarch butterflies, large mammals that travel long distances such as mule deer, small mammals such as silver-haired bats, and many bird species such as osprey, American robin, rufous hummingbird, and Western bluebirds.”
Many wildlife species may reside within a migration corridor and spend their whole lives there, she said.
They may have a small range such as a black-tailed jackrabbit or sagebrush lizard.
The grey fox spends its life in a small two-mile diameter home range, living opportunistically on wild fruit, insects, reptiles, and rodents.
She said scientists are finding that fencing, highways, housing developments, energy development, wind turbines, and climate change threaten the phenomenon.
In the Eastern Sierra, she said, “wildlife migration may not be completely secure but we’re lucky to have many interesting and beautiful animals utilizing the special habitats of our local migration corridors.”