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Spring Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey: June 17-18

posted May 24, 2017, 3:01 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated May 24, 2017, 9:47 PM ]

Its time for the Spring Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey

The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey is a joint venture between the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project and the University of Minnesota's Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. It is a unique
opportunity to improve your tracking skills, connect with nature, and help Cedar Creek scientists learn about the wildlife living on their property. Our spring survey will take place on two days, and include a training and orientation for those new to Cedar Creek, new to wildlife tracking, or both.

Free Training, Saturday, June 17

If this will be your first time participating in the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey, please join us for a free training and orientation. Following the training, you will have the opportunity to join a survey team for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, June 17
9:00am - 12:00pm

The training is free, but registration is required. To register for the event:
Contact Caitlin Potter at Cedar Creek <> or (612-301-2602)

Spring Survey, June 17-18

Our Spring Survey will include three field sessions over two days, plus an opportunity to stay overnight at Cedar Creek. We will head out in teams to survey sand road transects for animal tracks, then come back in to share our discoveries with one another. Each team will be led by an experienced wildlife tracker, certified in Track & Sign identification. Here is the schedule for the weekend.

Saturday, June 17
Session 1: 8:30am ~ 12:00pm
Lunch: ~12:00pm - 1:00pm
Session 2: 1:00pm ~ 6:00pm
(includes sharing and debrief from Session 1)

Sunday, June 18
Session 3: 9:00am ~ 4:00pm
(including lunch in the field)

Bring your own lunches. We will have lunch at the Lindeman Center on Saturday and (weather permitting) in the field on Sunday. Cedar Creek will provide coffee and snacks.

Experienced team members are welcome to join us for any of the three field sessions. Please register with Caitlin Potter <> or (612-301-2602) to let us know when you will be attending.

Overnight Accommodations

For those who would like to stay overnight on Saturday, Cedar Creek is offering us housing on campus for the extraordinary low rate of $15. Depending on the number of people requesting housing, we may be accommodated in buildings on different areas of the property. Meals will be on our own, but each dorm has complete kitchen facilities. As we get a sense of who plans to stay in the dorms, we can do some planning to coordinate meals. The club may even have some groceries left over from the Bird Language Weekend :)

To book overnight accommodations, and register for the Survey, contact Caitlin Potter at Cedar Creek <> or (612-301-2602)

Housing is limited, so make your reservations right away. The deadline for housing registration is Saturday, June 10.

About Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is a 5,400 acre experimental ecological reserve operated by the University of Minnesota. It is located about 35 miles north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, just east of Bethel.

Cedar Creek lies at the boundary between prairie and forest. It is a mosaic of uplands dominated by oak savanna, prairie, hardwood forest, pine forests, and abandoned agricultural fields and of lowlands comprised of ash and cedar swamps, acid bogs, marshes, and sedge meadows. The area was first set aside in the early 1940s to be kept in its natural condition for scientific and educational purposes. Much of the land remains pristine, and has never been developed for agriculture. You can learn more at

The diverse, pristine habitat supports a wide variety of mammals. Species seen on the property over the Reserve's 75 year history include white-tailed jackrabbits, badger, fisher, fox squirrels, porcupine & spotted skunks. Reserve staff and scientists are looking for our help to update their index of mammals. If you are a beginner, the surveys will offer an overview of the diversity of Minnesota Mammals. For the advanced tracker, you might get to try your hand at distinguishing fisher from otter; fox squirrel from grey squirrel; and a variety of tiny mammal tracks. You can take a look at some of what our tracking teams have found on our iNaturalist Project Page

The property includes 25 miles of sand roads, which catch tracks beautifully. The roads will be grated shortly before our surveys, offering optimal tracking conditions for us to locate and identify a rich diversity of species.

Public access to the Reserve is limited. The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey program offers you the rare opportunity to explore this exceptional landscape.

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
2660 Fawn Lake Dr NE
Bethel, Minnesota 55005

For a map & directions to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, click here

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve