Wildlife Techniques (EFB 496)
This is a 2-week intensive course based at the Cranberry Lake
Course Intent and Organization
This course provides ‘hands on’ experience with field
During this course students will:
· learn about the ethical care and use of wildlife in field studies
· learn and apply proper techniques for capturing and handling
· identify Adirondack mammals and birds by sight, sign, and
· monitor wildlife populations using various survey techniques
· learn how to use radio-telemetry to monitor animal activity
· conduct field assessments of habitat quality
Actual activities conducted vary by year depending upon
detecting species from their tracks, aging deer by patterns of
tooth eruption and wear, drive surveys, double-counting
Note To Prospective Students
To enroll in this class you must sign-up during the standard
enrollment period for the general CLBS program. THIS CLASS
There are no required texts or materials for this course.
Dressing for the field
Wildlife field work is rigorous, often requiring long hours of hiking over unstable terrain, up and down mountains, through dense and wet vegetation. Work too often occurs under inclement weather conditions, starting early and ending late at night. All the while, you might be carrying heavy or expensive (and not waterproof) field equipment. Being able to conduct your work effectively, be safe in the field, and remain comfortable under these conditions requires proper equipment, which starts with your clothing. Sturdy footwear (waterproof boots, not sandals) are an absolute must. And your attire and personal gear also must accommodate potentially extreme changes in temperature or weather. It is important that you dress appropriately, this indicates you are professional and serious about your work and gives you street credibility when it comes to wildlife field jobs down the road!
For this course, every day you will:
1. Be wearing long pants and hiking boots.
2. Have a waterproof jacket (and maybe pants).
3. Have a daypack to carry your personal items and field gear.
Most of the time, you will be comfortable in lightweight, synthetic hiking pants (quick-drying nylon is recommended). Long-sleeve shirts are useful (especially for bug and sun protection), but not required. Cotton is generally undesirable (for shirts, pants, and underclothes) because it holds moisture, gets uncomfortable quickly, and stays uncomfortable for a long time. Synthetic materials like Lycra, CoolMax, or polypropylene are moisture-wicking, fast-drying, good insulators, and remain comfortable over time.
The key to dressing for comfort is to dress in layers – several lightweight layers made of appropriate materials (like fleece and polypropylene) allow you the shed or add warmth as needed and remain comfortable throughout the day.
For wet conditions, lightweight Gortex is the most desirable material for rain gear as it packs nicely into your bag without adding much weight and is waterproof. It is also wise to carry a set of gaiters (coated nylon or GoreTex), which keep twigs and debris and water out of your boots during off-trail travel and stream crossings.
Good sources of personal and hiking gear for wildlife work include Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) in Syracuse, and REI and Campmor online. Every year Backpacker magazine publishes a “gear guide”, which gives a nice comparison of all sorts of clothing and technical equipment useful for field work.