Balance is important in all parts of life. It’s the time of the summer where we are balancing out all the field work with some office work.
All of the awesome habitat data we have been collecting needed to be entered so I spent a good chunk of the week entering all the data in our excel data sheets correctly. Once all quail habitat survey data was entered, the next step was to create rating scores for each station that we surveyed. Our rating of the habitat is dependent on a variety of factors that fall under the four major needs for quail habitat. The four components of quail habitat are nesting cover, brood cover, protective cover, food, and interspersion. Based on the data we collected and the maps of the station that we take from GIS I calculate the rating scores for each habitat component and then the habitat as a whole. I will continue doing this for each station and based on these rating scores I will suggest management strategies for the stations.
Another project we started working on is getting GPS locations for all the areas that were treated with herbicide earlier in the season. We will enter these GPS coordinated into GIS in order to see what areas have been sprayed in the park this summer. It is important that we do this in order to know what areas were treated and to see that the treatment gave good results which will in turn decide if this management strategy will be replicated. We were getting GPS locations for fields that were sprayed early in the Spring to remove any cold season grasses and allow for warm season grasses to come up. This is important for quail habitat because they need bare ground to move around and warm season grasses to create their nests. We have already seen the positive effects spraying these fields has had and are planning to replicate it. Here are some pictures of me walking the polygon and getting GPS coordinates!
Lastly, we went out and did our last habitat survey this week and while we were doing it I found a branch that was covered in over 50 caterpillars! They were really cool to see so here are a couple pictures!