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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sprucing up the Midden


I stumbled across this midden a few 10s of meters from the Great Highway.  I had no idea it was there and had to tromp through some stinging nettle to get to it, but alas an easily accessible midden at Younger Lagoon.  Now it was time to get some close-ups of a Neotoma with the homebrew.



Christian and I met up a few days after I made this set and thank god for that.  As you can see something moved the camera and had it pointed all in the wrong direction. Luckily Christian and I were able to reset the camera without too many lost days and got some great Woodrat pictures.





The little one then brings in some fresh green branches to spruce up the midden being careful to place them oh so right.




  1. Nice midden...seems pretty cozy. Cool shots!

  2. They certainly did a good job of mixing in hemlock and pieces of willow with beautiful lichen on them. Lichen is most assuredly an underused home decoration.

    The midden was pretty good sized. This is probably a lazy trustafarian rat that inherited its midden from its parents.

  3. Excellent series, guys. She's a cutie. And that midden is amazing. I think (but am still trying to sort it out for sure) the local species is now classified as Neotoma macrotis annectens, the San Francisco Woodrat. Or, SF Dusky-footed Woodrat. But that seems weird since macrotis means big-eared... Ah, taxonomy. Regardless, it's a Species of Special Concern, so glad to see you have happy habitats down there.

  4. Let me know if you figure it out RT. The MVZ which is usually my go to, but can be a bit slower to make changes, still has them as Neotoma fuscipes annectens.

    Santa Cruz County records.

    Although I do see a hit or two in the google for Neotoma macrotis annectens.

  5. Interesting. That MVZ list has been updated for some recent Neotoma changes, but not others. It does appear to have the new fuscipes/macrotis split correct, but it doesn't seem to have the lepida/bryanti changes.

    As for our locals, I just read Matocq's paper and they're still fuscipes annectens. The intergrade zone occurs at about Elkhorn Slough, so from there up the coast north are all fuscipes. From Elkhorn south, the integrade boundary roughly follows 101, with macrotis on the coast, and fuscipes inland. The range cuts up to the Tehachapis from there, and the Sierra woodrats are macrotis up to about Lake Tahoe and hwy 50. North of Tahoe they become fuscipes again.