Wápupxn (Lynx) Transboundary Monitoring Trial - Derickson Trapline - West Kettle River, BC

The Okanagan Nation Alliance wildlife program is pleased to say that we’ve concluded our lynx live-trapping and collaring effort for the 2015-16 winter. Our target was to capture and collar three lynx as an operational trial toward a better understanding of lynx movements through the Kettle River landscape and genetic relationships to lynx in Washington State.

Three lynx, all males, were successfully captured, GPS collared, ear-tagged and released; all on the Derickson Family Trapline in the West Kettle River drainage, Syilx Territory. Trapping, handling and release went smoothly in each case. The ONA wildlife Lynx being tagged team will now move into monitoring each cat at least monthly by VHF radio with the intention of recovering data stored onboard the drop-off GPS collars later this year or as soon as practical in 2017. Each cat is permanently ear-tagged with small matching blue swing tags marked with a unique number and the letters “WDFW”. If sighted or reported, please convey the information to me!

Photos L-R: Trappers Ray & Graeme Derickson with Amber; Trapper Russell Baines with Russell; Amber in the live trap; ONA biologist Al Peatt with Thumper.

The capture and trapping team consisted of:
ONA wildlife staff: Al Peatt, RPBio (project lead & primary handler) and biologists Autumn Solomon and Alexis Friesen.
Trappers Ray Derickson (Westbank FN); Russell Baines (Westbank FN); Graeme Derickson (Westbank FN); and TJ Gooliaff (UBCO MSc student).

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To make this project possible, many other people and agencies assisted in project planning, support and implementation by provision of funds, supplies and/or expertise. These include: Dan Thornton (Washington State University); Jen Watkins and Joe Scott (Conservation Northwest); Scott Fisher and Paul Jensen (DNR); BC Min. of FLNRO; BC Min. of Environment; Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife; Ross Everatt; Dr. Barrie Hume; and Dr. Allan Gill.
Thank you all!

Highlights:
Live trapping with daily trap checks commenced February 27 on the Derickson Family Trapline in the upper West Kettle River drainage; a total of eight live-traps were deployed during several trapping sessions.

February 28: “Russell” a 12kg male lynx captured, successfully collared and released. Russell became somewhat trap-happy, has remained in the area. He was caught and released three times in total.
March 24: all traps disabled for the holiday and crew break.
April 7: four traps re-opened.
April 17: “Thumper” a ~13kg male lynx captured, successfully collared and released.
April 19: “Amber” a 9.6kg male lynx captured, successfully collared and released; all traps closed and live-trapping discontinued for the season.

Should you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact me!
Best regards, Alan

Alan Peatt, RPBio
Senior Wildlife Biologist
Okanagan Nation Alliance
(250) 707-0095 x213

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