To minimize the impact of study and survey techniques on animals, Alpha Wildlife used several non-invasive methods in his projects.
Fluorescent U.V. Tracking Powder
Live-trapping pocket gophers is time-consuming, and it is difficult to install radio-collars on these small animals. Spreading U.V. tracking powder along the edges of earth mounds and plugs allowed us to follow pocket gophers above ground and to map their movements. This technique allowed us to unequivocally demonstrate that pocket gophers do not forage underground only, as was previously believed.
- Proulx, G., M. J. Badry, P. J. Cole, R. K. Drescher, A. J. Kolenosky, and I. M. Pawlina. 1995. Summer above-ground movements of northern pocket gophers, Thomomys talpoides, in an alfalfa field. Canadian Field-Naturalist 109: 256-258.
Fecal analyses allows us to determine the food habits of carnivores, and consequently, habitat use and movements. Such analyses led to the discovery of a new mammalian species (prey) in Saskatchewan.
- Proulx, G., and P. J. Cole. 1998. Identification of northern pocket gopher, Thomomys talpoides, remains in long-tailed weasel, Mustela frenata longicauda, scats. Canadian Field-Naturalist 112: 345-346.
- Proulx, G. In press. American badger (Taxidea taxus) predation on Richardson’s ground squirrels (Urocitellus richardsonii) in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. In G. Proulx and E. Do Linh San, editors. Badgers: Systematics, ecology, behaviour and conservation. Alpha Wildlife Publications, Alberta, Canada.
- Proulx, G., and B. P. Proulx. 2012. An addition to the mammalian fauna of Saskatchewan: the Western Harvest Mouse, Reithrodontomys megalotis: Canadian Field-Naturalist 126: 95-102.
Snow-tracking provides researchers with unique insight into the ecology of species, and yields behavioural and habitat information that may be unavailable or only inferred using the more technologically-advanced techniques.
- Proulx, G., and E. C. O’Doherty. 2006. Snowtracking to determine Martes winter distribution and habitat use. Pages 211-224 in M. Santos-Reis, J.D.
- Birks, E.C. O’Doherty, and G. Proulx, editors. 2006. Martes in carnivore communities. Alpha Wildlife Publications, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.
- Proulx, G. 2013. Late-winter Habitat Use by Boreal Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), in Northwestern Saskatchewan. Canadian Wildlife Biology & Management 2: 11-22.