A year ago when my partner and I bought a home, and 60 acres of forest, we began making plans for a good use of the land. We started making trails and recording all the wildlife documented by sightings and sign. We were on our way to making a privately owned nature reserve that would allow people to enjoy the beauty of the forest in a way that would be unique in PEI. A place for vacationers to tent and explore an outback that has become very scarce to this Canadian province.
The island has been stripped of it's forest to accommodate agricultural to such a degree that wildlife, many times, is tricky to find. Animals like the Red Fox are very common and are regularly seen in neighborhoods and city streets. They are hesitant to occupy the remaining forest that in-habitat their larger cousins, the Coyote, and have become accustomed to live alongside human residence. The Coyote has once again managed to instill fear into many of the locals as it is the largest predator on the island. Many of the island's people that I have spoken with have a very delusional thought process of this majestic animal. News stories and social media have made it seem like the coyote is more of a viscous, child eating animal than the extremely stealthy and intelligent survivor it truly is.
Saying all this, my plans have slightly changed for our property. The goal is no longer to have people come and use the land for adventure but to keep this land from as much human presence as possible. It is becoming more of a home base for a growing research operation that is continuing to develop. We have had trail cameras set up in different random locations and have been documenting what creatures have been using the land. My main pursuit is collecting as much information about the coyote population as I can. I am planning to dedicate my time here to help protect an animal that has no protection. Endlessly working to keep hunters and trappers off this section of land and creating a safe haven for all the wildlife that chooses to come here. As I look over images of the creatures that could possibly take up residence here I know without a doubt, it will all be worth it.
The American Mink spends the majority of its time in and around waterways. Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to photograph these wonderful creatures and spend time watching the way they move through the forest and along water banks. Timing how quickly they submerge under water and come up with prey is outstanding. These creatures are truly impressive hunters just as the other mustelid species of North America. The mink is not a shy animal by any means and, when found in hunting mode, they are known to pose willingly for the camera. If you ever have the opportunity to spend a few minutes with this interesting weasel I would recommend the following.......Pay more attention to the animals behavior then to your camera because the things you can learn about this creatures tactics, in a short amount of time, is astounding.
Robbie P. Gallant
As a naturalist, I spend a great amount of time in personal study. Discussion and research is key to exploring new and intelligent ideas and furthering our understanding of our natural surroundings.