TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT
TO FRIENDS OF THE
TAIGA BIOLOGICAL STATION

Material presented herein is for information only
and is not to be cited or considered as publication.

The following links are Photo Mosaics of activities
which were included in this report.
They are JPEG images larger than 100 kilobytes each.
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1997 Taiga Activity Photo Mosaic #1

1997 Taiga Activity Photo Mosaic #2

 

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GENERAL AND CLASSES

The change of the Zoology Department from emphasis on entire animals to animal bits and "keyboard ecology" is under way with Mammalogy reduced from a full to a one-term course. This will surely make the Department less attractive to graduate students.

The CBC "Nature of Things" field crew spent several days at TBS with us in August 1996. The program was broadcast on 13 April 1997. There were a number of sequences of TBS.

The mammalogy winter field trip, with 8 students, was a success. We had about 25 cm snow cover and most nights were in the -25°C to -28°C range. R. Hamilton won the Mammamlogists' Biathlon with a time of 2:12:25.

I have spent much time this past year composing and revising my "Proposal to Establish a Chair in the Natural History of the Boreal Forest at the University of Manitoba". I ask all Friends to read the Proposal attached and to give it as wide a circulation as possible.

 


 

RESEARCH

Early winter 1996 had very thick snow cover but mild temperatures the result was extensive overflow or slush on Wallace Lake. In December Ian Gilchrist and Boyan Tracz, while hauling supplies by snowmobile and sled, became mired in slush. During the extrication operation Ian severely twisted his bad knee. He was in bed rest for some time and later on crutches. The eventual prognosis was no more active field work. Consequently he has withdrawn from his master's project.

Aaron Zuccolin, a recent graduate of UBC arrived in September 1996 to begin graduate studies. He began his field work at the Station in May 1997. His research is actually in two parts: (1) ecology and population dynamics of Least Chipmunks (Eutamias minimus) and (2) Suitability of implanted electronics microchips as identifiers for chipmunks and other small mammals in the field.

Pam Vust spent her Careerstart appointment at TBS. She was put to work at a variety of tasks - field assistant for Aaron, helping to sample the small mammals plots and assisting Dr. Karen Johnson in her research on vegetation recovery after fire.

Richard Puttenham completed his MSc thesis and was awarded the degree at the Fall Convocation. A summary of his findings follows..

 


 

VISITORS

Roger Jubinville and Charles Pruitt visited in January and transported a quantity of personal gear to Winnipeg. They also visited in summer and delivered a load of lumber donated by Dr. Karen Johnson. David Wright and Boyan Tracz visited several times, cut and hauled firewood, repaired snowmobiles; David renovated the wood-hauling sled into new condition. Three different groups of Outward Bound visited. Their great contribution was oiling the logs of the Lab, Bunkhouse, Sauna and Cubby.

In October Manitoba Environmental Council spent a couple of days in eastern Manitoba. They investigated the road being slashed by Pine Falls Paper Co. through one of the important wintering areas for Woodland Caribou. They also spent part of a day with us learning about our research and results.

 


 

DONATIONS

We received donations from David and Irma Braddell, Don Sutherland, Roger Jubinville and Charles Pruitt (hauling lumber) Karen Johnson (lumber), David Wright and Boyan Tracy (cutting and hauling firewood), Jack Gee (coleman lantern), Pamela Vust, Chim Wong, Michelle Wheatley, Kim Tyson and John Shearer. As always, Wolf Heck made the photo plates.

 


 

PUBLICATIONS

Pruitt, W.O., Jr. 1997. Threats to Woodland Caribou and the Taiga. Global Biodiversity 7: 25-31.
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Puttenham, R. 1997. Population fluctuations in mink (Mustela vison), with comparisons to muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) and ermine (Mustela erminea), in southern Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. M.Sc. thesis, Department of Zoology, University of Manitoba; p516 pp.
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Wheatley, M. 1997. Beaver (Castor canadensis), home range size and patterns of use in the taiga of southeastern Manitoba. I-Seasonal variation. Canadian Field-Naturalist 111 (2): 240-210.
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............ Wheatley, 1997. Beaver (Castor canadensis), home range size and patterns of use in the taiga of southeastern Manitoba. II-Sex age and family status. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 111 (2): 211-216.
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............ Wheatley, 1997. Beaver (Castor canadensis), home range size and patterns of use in the taiga of southeastern Manitoba. III-Habitat variation. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 111 (2): 217-222.
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............ Wheatley, 1997. A new surgical technique for implanting radio transmitters in Beavers (Castor canadensis). Canadian Field Naturalist 111 (4): 601-606.
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Erna Pruitt and Bill Conley kept us all sane.

 


 

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