Topic 1: What animals live in your space?
The common name of the animals is Eastern Gray squirrel, but scientific equivalent is Sciurus carolinensis. Red squirrels become the prey for the variety of animals such as American minks, weasels, red foxes, bobcats, grey wolves, coyotes, lynx, and red-tailed hawks.
The squirrels interact with each other, emitting the alarm calls so that to warn other squirrels of the danger of predator, which, in turn, as well as highly developed agility in the trees makes it rather difficult to catch the animals. They are the prey animals hosting parasites as lice and roundworms. In the ecosystem, they depend on the coniferous trees for seeds and buds from cones (Lawniczak).Eastern gray squirrels have successfully adapted to life in the urban areas, no longer treating humans as predators. Another point of adaptation is the avoidance of contact. They have honed their reaction to tiny cues (Lim, 2014). The coexistence of the squirrels with humans in the city should be provided by the strict measures implemented to protect squirrels and the steps to recreate their native ecosystem.
Topic 2: Citizen Science: Urban Ecology
The places chosen to carry out the observation are the backyard and the city park. The first observation took place on Friday afternoon and the second – on Saturday afternoon. The sound diapason is limited as the observation took place in urban area, still, in both places the sounds of birds singing could be identified. During the two days the weather was mostly warm and sunny, which excludes the possibility that animals behaved differently.
Animals are generally affected by the weather. Thus, some animals with the high capacity to survive under adverse conditions have limited vigorous activity, as it is limited by the narrow temperature range within which this activity is possible. This makes many animals that do not have a mechanism of thermoregulation of the body move to the sunlit areas and look for shelter in the extremely sunny days. It is important to observe animals at the same time of the day as different animals have different types of activity: diurnal or nocturnal.
Moreover, it guarantees the same behavior of the animals depending on the temperature and sunlight.In the first location the following organisms were seen: lizards, butterflies, bees, small birds. In the second location squirrels, butterflies and mice were observed. In the area, such organisms can be met: Rattus norvegicus (brown rat), Sturnus vulgaris (European starling), Felis catus (domestic cat). All of them are considered invasive species. European starlings are well spread in the US.
They are omnivorous eating both plant and animal food. They consume earthworms, insect larvae, butterflies, spiders, caterpillars, seeds and plants fruits. In general, European starlings are rather aggressive birds both towards animals and other species. In the wild nature, they conquer for the place for nesting and can even force out other species from their natural environment. Starlings can cause certain problems interacting with human beings transmitting such human diseases as blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, and cysticercosis.
Lawniczak, M. (n.d.). Sciurus …