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2021. College Creatures: Do we disturb them?

December 13, 2021

Often, we forget about the animals that are on campus, and the effect we may have on them. A group of Purchase Environmental Studies students collected candid photos with trail cameras of the animals on campus such as the deer, coyotes, bobcats, and raccoons. They set out to answer the question of whether human activity on campus influences animal behaviors.

by Alyssa Rosenberger

Our research group set up 6 trail cameras around campus. We set up 2 by the VA building, 2 in the Alumni woods, and 2 near the sports fields. The 2 cameras at each of the 3 sites were placed in a location where humans were more likely to be present (near a fire pit) and in a more remote location nearby (deeper in the woods). We collected the SD cards to count occurrences/diversity of species. We compared human and animal occurrences. The findings of our study showed that there are more animal occurrences/diversity in the remote areas compared to the ones with frequent human activity.

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