Tracking Wildlife in Winter Yields Key Information

A porcupine sleeps in a tree Saskatoon Meewasin

Winter in the Meewasin Valley offers a lot of opportunities to get outside and get active. The deep freeze that tends to envelop the Valley during the winter months can make it a little hard to go for a stroll but work doesn’t stop for Meewasin staff and volunteers.

The need for an engaged group of volunteers doesn’t diminish when the snow hits the ground. There are always opportunities to help out!

In February, Meewasin will be conducting wildlife tracking surveys out at Beaver Creek Conservation Area. That means it’s time for the Friends of the Valley to step outside and help Meewasin get a sense of what’s wandering the Valley through winter. Timing is everything and tracking in all seasons gives Meewasin the best data possible.

What is wildlife tracking?

A deer wanders through Wanuskewin Saskatoon MeewasinWildlife tracking is an opportunity for people to head out to Beaver Creek and learn how to identify wildlife from the prints they leave in the snow during the winter. The key is using the iNaturalist app to document the wildlife tracks you find. Tracking with Meewasin can do a lot of good for the well-being of the valley.

This adds to the citizen science knowledge base of the wildlife living at BCCA in the winter. In addition to being an opportunity to explore BCCA and discover the wildlife diversity of the area, it’s also a great excuse to get outdoors and go for a hike. Not that you need one, of course.

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What will you be doing?

On Saturday. February 26, you’ll begin by getting some guidance from one of Meewasin’s team members at the info booth before heading out on the trail to explore on your own. Enjoy a tour of the trails with Renny Grilz, Meewasin’s Resource Management Office. Tours will be offered on Saturday at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM for volunteers only.

On Sunday, February 27, you’ll be out on your own, tracking information and reporting it to the iNaturalist database in a designated area. Please note that day two of this event is non-guided and can be done at your own leisure.

If you would like to attend, please keep the following in mind:

  • To register for this event please click here. Meewasin has COVID-19 safety guidelines in effect. All members of your party must complete this pre-screening form/waiver prior to your arrival on site:
  • We are requiring all volunteers to mask during programming and all of our staff are doing the same when working with volunteers.Tracks in the snow at Wanuskewin Saskatoon Meewasin
  • The Info booth for this event and volunteer check-in will open at 12 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. Tours start at 1 p.m. and at 3 p.m. Please be on time!
  • This volunteer experience requires data entry into the iNaturalist App – having your own, fully functional, and charged smartphone that can access this App is required for this event.
  • This is an outdoor experience – Please dress for the weather and come prepared to be outdoors. Things like a hat, mitts, and proper outerwear will make your experience more enjoyable. We’ve got the necessary equipment we’ll need for the day
  • Bring a full reusable water bottle to carry with you, hydration is key and there is no potable water on-site. The main building at Beaver Creek is closed for all users except for washrooms (washrooms are available on-site!)

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