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Internship   Shenandoah National Park

Internship Shenandoah National Park



u of r powerpoint presentation about internship

u of r powerpoint presentation about internship



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    Internship   Shenandoah National Park Internship Shenandoah National Park Presentation Transcript

    • Shenandoah National Park Internship
    • Shenandoah National Park
    • Shenandoah History
      • With the establishment of the park in December 1935, over 450 families of mountain residents were relocated.
      • Shenandoah National Park today approaches 200,000 acres, or 300 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia. Forty percent of the area is Congressionally designated wilderness.
      • The park was essentially built by the CCC in the late 1930’s
      • Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
    • ME
      • I was a natural Resource Specialist, concentrating on Wildlife Biology
      • I worked for James Atkinson - Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist and Rolf Gubler- Biologist and Forest Pest Manager and my partner in crime was Kim Sager, a six year seasonal employee.
      • I was officially an Employee of the Student Conservation Association
    • Responsibilities
      • WILD LIFE
      • Peregrine Falcon Monitoring
      • Nuisance Bear Removal
      • Nuisance Deer monitoring and removal
      • Nuisance Raccoon and Snake Removal
      • Fish monitoring
      • Public Education
      • Peregrine Falcon and Wildlife information programs
    • Peregrines
    • Peregrine Info
      • Peregrines are the fastest diving bird in the world, they have been clocked by the air force at 270 miles an hour.
      • Male Peregrines are one third the size of Females,
      • Peregrines divide their prey into weight categories. Females will attack anything from the size of a duck down to a Blue Jay, while the males will attack Blue Jays and smaller
      • They mate for life, but if one dies the other will find another partner. They nest only on rocky outcrops or under bridges.
      • They have incredible migration routes, some of them have been tracked going from Chile up to Alaska. (Nobody really knows why some have longer routes than others, or where exactly they go) Ours which were radio monitored were tracked from Cuba up to Maine.
      • They are biosensors, in the sense that they absorb all of the chemicals as they are passed up through the food chain, and they are very sensitive to them.
    • Hacking
    • Hacking
      • Hacking is the name for taking Peregrines from their parents, raising them and releasing them into the wild.
      • This summer I hacked 13 peregrines, all of which were taken from bridges, mainly in Richmond and coastal areas.
      • Peregrines born under bridges have a high mortality rate because of the low altitude proximity to water, telephone wires, and other man made objects.
      • Peregrines are state threatened in Virginia, and were only removed from the endangered species list 7 years ago.
      • They almost went extinct due to DDT and other pesticides, which, like the eagles made their eggs to thin and which was passed up through the food chain creating a chemical soup in their bodies.
      • They made a greater come back on the coast, and our program was designed to reintroduce them to the mountains, a prime habitat for them.
      • This particular program has been running for 6 years with great success.
    • Feeding
    • Feeding and Monitoring
      • I was in charge of feeding and monitoring the Peregrine Falcons.
      • They were fed quail, which we got frozen from a distributor. And which I prepared each morning.
      • The amount they were fed changed as they learned to fend for themselves and became less reliant on us.
      • We used a telescope and binoculars to monitor the health and condition of the birds. Each bird was banded with a Fish and Wildlife band, with an ID number and a color. My job was to identify each bird that came for feeding throughout the day, and comment on that birds flying development, attitude, and health.
      • Towards the end of my internship the birds began to migrate, most likely down towards Cuba.
      • We used to put radio transmitters on them, but due to the expensive nature of this project that was abandoned after we had a good idea of where they were traveling.
      • We had one returning couple living in the park, and this summer they had their first child, which was the first natural born Peregrine born in the Park in 10 years
    • Baby Peregrine!
      • First Wild Peregrine born in the park in 10 years!!!
    • Black Bears
      • There are around 500 Black bears living in Shenandoah National Park
      • They range from 100-850 lbs
      • I met face to face with 28 of them
      • Bears RULE
      • However, when they come in contact with humans, and become habituated, either through feeding or coaxing, then they can become dangerous.
      • If a bear is seen eating peoples food, will not run from groups of people, or acts threatening in any way, then we are called.
    • Nuisance Bears
      • We use two main methods for bear removal. The primary method is a dart gun loaded with a chemical that will paralyze the bear for about 2 hours. The second is a large baited bear trap.
      • I was called to help assist in 4 bear removals.
      • After darting or trapping the bear, we load him or her onto a truck and drive 50-80 miles away, we go down a fire road, pepper spray and release the bear back into the wilderness.
      • This acts as an effective way to deter future encounters. Bears get three strikes, and are then shipped to the National Forest where they are not protected.
    • Fish Shocking
      • Used to assess the quality of a river or stream
      • Fish are shocked and then scooped up for identification, weighing, measuring and counting.
      • This serves as a primary way of indicating river health
    • More Wildlife
      • I was also involved with snake handling, when snakes were on the road or in campsites. I primarily used a hook, which I would scoop up a rattlesnake or cottonmouth with and move him into a safer area.
      • I also spent a lot of time tracking Bobcats, so as to monitor their health and distribution throughout the park
    • Deer
      • Deer could often be just as much trouble as Bears, for although they do not look very dangerous, if they become too friendly with people there can be some frightening encounters. I missed deer counting season and removal season, which began in the fall, and we were not called to deal with any nuisance problems. Instead our efforts focused on identifying deer with a past history of aggressive behavior. These could be identified by the tags left in their ears.
    • Racoons
      • Raccoons managed to cause a lot of trouble in two different ways.
      • They would get caught in the bear traps, instead of the bear, requiring removal to wilderness areas.
      • They would also steal peoples food, and harass campers. We even had an instance of one stealing a woman’s book out of her hands.
      • In these cases we would normally set traps, unless the Raccoon was still on seen, then we would dart him.
    • Mountain Lions
      • I tracked a Mountain Lion, even though they are thought to be extinct in the park. My boss told me that I must have been mistaken, but 3 weeks later in the exact same spot where I was tracking the lion, one of the Interpretation Ranges said they watched what they thought was a mountain lion as it stalked a deer. The park will still not admit their presence until there is a picture.
    • Trails and Invasive
      • I also did invasive species removal at hog camp branch, which was a river restoration project.
      • I also worked with Central district trails, building stone steps, clearing trail, and marking trails.
    • The END