By Bridget Butler, CHC Program Director
Here we are headed into Season 3 of the WildPaths Project with lots of momentum and interest building in the wildlife connectivity community. This year we're encouraging all our volunteers to use iNaturalist to report their observations as it's giving us better quality data in terms of geo-location, storage space for images and the crowd-sourcing capabilities of the experts online to help make tricky identifications.
We're excited to announce that our partners in the Northern Green Mountain Linkage, Ruiter Valley Land Trust and Appalachian Corridor, have joined with us in tracking hotspots for wildlife crossings with their project Stop Carcasses! on iNaturalist. We're using the same protocols and will be sharing our results across the linkage. Together we've submitted an article for the scientific journal Le Naturaliste Canadien on our collaboration in aligning our citizen projects on wildlife connectivity which we hope to be published in this summer!
We encourage other towns and organizations in Vermont to use the WildPaths Project on iNaturalist to document roadkill and live crossings in their locale. All the data gathered for the project can be downloaded from the project page at any time for no cost! No sense in recreating the wheel when the work has already been done for you. Our project was based on Maine Audubon's Road Watch Project in order to keep the data consistent across the Northern Forest and New England. We hope you see the value in that as well. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about using WildPaths for your group.
We'll be bringing presenting our work at the Northeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies on April 16th in Burlington, VT. We'll be part of Symposia #3 on Citizen Science and Implications for Wildlife Management. Details at: https://www.neafwa.org/
And, we'll be holding a special workshop on Saturday, April 21st from 1:30-4 pm in Enosburgh, VT on how to use iNaturalist. So if you have friends who aren't hooked yet or feeling a bit wishy-washy on how to use smartphone apps, send them our way! Check out our calendar page for details and to register in advance.
Thanks, everyone and we look forward to checking out your observations!