Bitterroot Wildlife Internship Recap

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Bitterroot Wildlife Internship Recap

August 31, 2015

Joshua Lisbon, Ellen Myers, and Jonathan Linch recount the accomplishments from 2 sessions of the Bitterroot Wildlife Internship. The BWI was a collaboration between the MPG Ranch and The Ecology Project International.

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Bitterroot Wildlife Internship 2015 Field Note Joshua Lisbon (MPG), Ellen Myers (EPI), & Jonathan Linch (EPI)

In a joint venture between Ecology Project International (EPI) and MPG Ranch 12 interns participated in the Bitterroot Wildlife Internship (BWI) living and learning on the MPG Ranch for one month. Interns engage with the landscape and give back to the land. Each intern worked side by side with an MPG researcher on an ongoing research project, performed field work, and participated in inquiry-based academic instruction. Overall BWI interns contributed 1137 hours to ranch projects.

Research 450.5 Hours Fence Removal 337 Hours Fence Retrofit 158.5 Hours Apple Picking and Pressing 78 Hours Houndstongue Removal 112.5 Hours

Interns spent 112.5 hours removing houndstongue creating a better habitat for plants and wildlife.

Interns removed 12.71 acres of Houndstongue in three locations across MPG Ranch.

After 337 hours of pulling staples and coiling wire, interns removed 1.5 miles of barbed wire fence.

Interns moved all of the barbed wire and t-posts and took them to the dump for recycling.

Interns spent 159 hours working with Sapphire Ranch retrofitting 0.7 miles of fence to make it wildlife friendly. Interns adjusted 2 miles of previously retrofitted fence to a more accessible position.

Smooth wire strands make it easier for wildlife to avoid entanglement. Two strands of wire allow wildlife movement above and below the fence line.

Interns spent 78 hours harvesting and pressing apples to make cider. They collected 224 gallons of apples creating 30 gallons of cider.

Interns partnered with MPG Researchers contributing 450 hours to the study of invasive and native forbs, fungi, butterflies, bats, pollinators, ungulates, native seeds and birds on the ranch.

One intern partnered with Ylva Lekberg to study Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi colonization of native and invasive plant roots.

Three interns collaborated with Jeff Pippen to study butterfly activity under different time, weather, and temperature conditions over the course of the summer. One BWI intern took on a role as a field technician for MariRose Kuhlman for her project on the non-native Starthistle Bee (Megachile Apicalis).

One intern worked with Prairie Wolfe to collect native seeds and study germination rates.

Two interns worked with Kate Stone and the bird crew to observe Lewis’s Woodpeckers nests and record interactions between the woodpeckers and other species. Two interns collaborated with Debbie Leick to study bats for the first time on MPG ranch. Interns determined why the bat boxes were unsuccessful, searched for bat roosts, and used acoustic monitoring to determine bat activity and identify bat species.

Interns participated in 185 hours of curriculum learning about the scientific method, natural history, and the Native American Culture of the Bitterroot Valley.

1137 Hours Contributed to Ranch Projects Houndstongue Removal 113 Hours Barbed Wire Fence Removal 337 Hours Fence Retrofit 159 Hours Apple Picking and Pressing 78 Hours Research 451 Hours

Previous Field Note

08-21-15 Bird Field Note