Hi all!  This summer we are embarking on a new study, inspired by you. MassMammals relies on our volunteer contributions to allow us to address questions about mammal distribution–we are currently working on a model of black bears. Since our inception, we have also been interested in addressing questions raised by the community and we are starting this summer.

In talking with folks, we learned that human traffic has changed across parts of the Holyoke Range. The Holyoke Range is an important area for conservation and recreation in the Pioneer Valley.

Holyoke Range

Being MassMammals, we of course then thought about local wildlife and how wildlife might be impacted by different types of trail use. So, this summer, we are doing a pilot study to explore trail use by both people and other mammals in the Holyoke Range. A pilot study allows us to begin exploring a question and to refine our methods before expanding to a larger scale.

Local groups are also interested in the outcome of the study. We are enthuastic to have had support from the Kestrel Land Trust, particularly as we were designing the study. We also appreciate how receptive others in the area have been to work with us as we initiate the project. Thank you all!

With trail cameras, we always think about privacy of people whose pictures might be taken. We have been very careful to think about how to protect privacy of people using the trails. For any photos collected with people, we plan to blur the image to prevent individual identificaiton. We will also keep all photos in a password protected folder, only to be accessed by a small number of project members, and will delete photos after we enter the data.

We are excited to see what mammals are using the space and look forward to sharing our findings with you!