Forest Mammals

Why are the cameras along the trail? Animals use trails! In fact, many hiking trails are located on 'deer trails' that wildlife has created by following natural contours repeatedly for years. We started our research by comparing animal sightings along trails and in the woods near trails and we found that cameras placed in the woods off a trail are not effective.


How are we balancing privacy? We are balancing the important need to understand wildlife habitat and land use with being as unobtrusive as possible. To gather information to allow the Lancaster Conservancy to best manage their land and to study wildlife conservation, it is critical to be along the trails. The research is in collaboration with the private landowner of the preserve, the Lancaster Conservancy. PLEASE DON'T MOVE CAMERAS. If you have concerns, please contact us at

What are we studying? We are studying the mammals that live in our forests, how they use habitat, how they behave and their population health. Our goal is understand how land use change affects wildlife in order to better conserve it. We are motivated by helping Lancaster Conservancy best manage their preserves for both human recreation and as wildlife habitat.


What have we found? Some species are found everywhere, such as deer and red fox. Other species are found closer to houses or agricultural fields, such as opossum and rabbits. And a third group of species are found only in larger or more remote preserves, such as gray fox and river otter.