2018 Field Season Summary

(October 2018)  As mentioned in our last post, Project Wild Coshocton’s 2018 field season marked a new, more quantitative approach to our study.  The preliminary work we carried out in 2015 and 2016 focused on identifying potential bobcat habitat and working with landowners to identify sites where we could set our trail cameras.  In our 2017 field season, we conducted four-week rounds of camera trapping at sites in every township (except Tuscarawas, which contains the city of Coshocton) in Coshocton and south-western Holmes counties; the resulting data enabled us to generate distribution maps for bobcats and coyotes.  Now, with an ArcGIS-generated map and bobcat territory grid, we have established a new sampling protocol that will enable us to estimate bobcat occupancy rates over time and to analyze how habitat characteristics and the presence of other species influence probability of bobcats occupying a territory.  We have a lot of work to do, and we are excited about this new phase in our study!

This year, we randomly selected 26 cells from our 49-cell-grid for inclusion in our long-term occupancy study; 16 of those were sites we had included in our 2017 survey, but ten of those cells contained no pre-existing camera trapping site.  So, our 2018 field work included identifying new areas of potential bobcat habitat and reaching out to additional landowners to gain permission to set trail cams on their properties.  We sincerely thank all of the kind citizens of Coshocton and Holmes counties who were so helpful during this process, sharing their knowledge of the local wildlife and granting permission to use their properties in this study.  Currently, we are engaged in analyzing the over 166,000 images we collected in 2018, which will keep us busy for months to come!


Total trail camera images collected: 166,657

Hard disk space required for those photos:  419 GB

Total miles driven for fieldwork: 2,714

Most popular lunch joint? Pizza Buffets!

Number of times lunched at “East of Chicago Pizza” in Millersburg:  6

Number of times lunched at “Crow Town Pizza” in Coshocton:  4

(Regular readers of this blog know of Dr. Weyrauch’s obsession with Def Leppard, so we must end on this disturbing statistic). Cumulative number of hours spent listening to various Def Leppard songs while driving to/from field sites:  6.1 hours