Loving the Adventures

It continues to be an enjoyable time here in Cedar City – full of learning and adventures!
I started off the month with a prairie dog training at, yes, a golf course. It’s quite a sight to see so many prairie dogs running around or peeking out of a burrow while a player is hitting a ball. I learned the procedure for translocating prairie dogs and got lots of practice setting traps, weighing, tagging and finally releasing them at their new location. Although taking them to a less desirable and unfamiliar habitat was not the best feeling, getting to work so closely with them was an extremely rewarding experience. I look forward to learning all I can about prairie dogs and doing my part in helping increase their population.

The next project involved installing reflectors to make a fence more visible for wildlife. Being the first time we were sent out on our own, it was sure to turn into a memorable day. It’s not surprising how you can easily start to get nervous when you are on your own, unsure of where you are, lose communication with your partner, run out of water all while it is starting to get a little late. As I look back, I smile because I know it’s all part of the learning experience!

For the past couple of weeks, I moved on to doing wildlife clearances that involved inspecting an area for signs of sensitive species and reporting on the general habitat encountered. This is an excellent opportunity to be observing all of the surroundings and practice learning plants, birds, and signs indicating the presence of animals. Although I have not yet encountered sage grouse in my outings, sightings of a golden eagle, red tailed hawk, or a Swainson’s hawk are always exciting. Of course, while being out in the field all day, things are bound to happen. Seeing how sunny days can easily turn into a thunderstorm, a cloudy day is something to be weary of during monsoon season. I learned this on Tuesday as my partner and I got soaked while running to the truck to seek cover from the hail. I have to say, these unexpected days do tend to end up being the most fun.

All in all, it’s been an awesome month. I am excited for the experiences to come!

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