Tracking Urban Wildlife at the Growing Center, and Beyond
If you've visited the Growing Center this summer and fall, you may have noticed a new high-tech accessory tucked among the grasses, herbs, vegetables, and trees.
Over the summer, Dr. Thilina Surasinghe, a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences at Bridgewater State University and member of the Mass Audubon’s Science Advisory Council, reached out to the Growing Center about being part of a project to monitor wildlife in local urban landscapes.
Dr. Surasinghe's project is setting up a transect of 20-25 automated game cameras focusing on southeastern Massachusetts, and including a diverse range of habitats and landscapes––ranging among rural/forested areas, exurban environments, developments of variable intensities, residential areas, actively managed and retired farmlands, and urban areas.
The cameras will be activated for a minimum of four months (January, April, July, October) per year, representing the four seasons. And the data collected will be included in an international database managed by the Urban Wildlife Information Network, and shared only within UWIN network for scientific research publications.
The project's information on wildlife use will also be shared with the Growing Center, and we're excited to learn more about what the cameras find!
We share our highly urbanized landscape with a great variety of wildlife species, and believe that better understanding these relationships will help to educate our community, build smarter, greener cities, and potentially reduce conflict between humans and our urban animal neighbors.
If you might be interested in helping to support this project, Bridgewater State is looking for help from land trusts, conservation/environmental non-profits, and
universities/schools to install one or more cameras in lands they manage, own, or have access to. If you'd like to learn more, please contact Thilina Surasinghe via email.