USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Home Who We Are Where We Are What We Do Products Search Director's Message Outreach Jobs Contacts

Secret Lives of Wildlife Exposed: Mountain lion, long-tailed weasel, and mountain beaver video.

Released: 2003
Citation:
Fellers, Gary M. 2003. Secret Lives of Wildlife Exposed: Mountain lion, long-tailed weasel, and mountain beaver video.

 

For the last six years, still cameras triggered by active infrared sensors have candidly captured wildlife at Point Reyes National Seashore. Using unbaited stations along wildlife trails and at mountain beaver burrows, scientists have acquired 13,000 identifiable photographs of 58 species of wildlife, including 26 species of mammals and 30 species of birds. With these data the scientists have answered questions about habitat preference; diurnal and seasonal activity; distribution of nonnative species; and the recovery of medium-sized mammals from a 13,000-acre fire. They have also used video cameras triggered by multiple passive infrared sensors to obtain more detailed data on behavior of mountain beaver, spotted skunks, long-tailed weasels, bobcats, and mountain lions.

To view the videos, click on an animal below. You will need to download the free Real Player plug-in from Real.com.
 
Mountain Lion Mountain lions are only rarely seen at Point Reyes, but they are resident within the park year round. No one actually knows how many lions inhabit the 71,000 acre park, but based on home range estimates made elsewhere, it is likely that 4-8 lions live the area. Bobcats are common in the Point Reyes area and large individuals are sometimes confused with lions. If you see what you think might be a mountain lion, look for a long tail that could easily touch the ground.
 
Long-tailed weasel Long-tailed weasels are uncommon residents of the coastal scrub community at Point Reyes National Seashore. They feed primarily on rodents. The video shows a group of young weasels as they play at the entrance to a mountain beaver burrow. Weasels are only one of many species of wildlife that utilize the burrows dug by mountain beavers. Others include spotted skunks, mice, and rabbits.
 
Mountain Beaver Mountain beavers are nocturnal creatures that are almost never seen. They are not a true beaver, but rather a muskrat-sized animal that lives in underground burrows. Mountain beaver colonies are most common in dense thickets of nettles, blackberry, poison oak, and coyote brush. These animals feed on a wide variety of plant material, including all four plants noted above. Mountain beavers have primitive, inefficient kidneys and hence mountain beavers must drink 1/3 of their body weight in water every day. The mountain beaver is unusual in being one of the few mammals to shed tears (milky white in color), and in being the host to the world's larges flea (>1/3").


The following files are related to this product:
FileFileSize
mtbeaver.rm4,168,334 Bytes
mtlion.rm1,305,521 Bytes
weasel.rm1,094,531 Bytes


Bookmark and Share

Share


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: webmaster@werc.usgs.gov

References to non-U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) products do not constitute an endorsement by the DOI.

* DOI and USGS link policies apply.