Urban Ecology Center researcher traps first shrew

Learn more at HKE MKE Sept. 17
Posted at 3:27 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 19:30:04-04

Hidden in the bushes by the Urban Ecology Center's Riverside location are traps.

"We want to know what we're capturing here in the park because it's telling us about the health of the habitat," said Jennifer Callaghan, a researcher at the Urban Ecology Center.

Her focus is maintaining a healthy habitat.

"A healthy white-footed mouse population is going to mean we're going to have healthy bird population," she said. "We're going to have a healthy fox population."

Callaghan takes extra steps to make sure the trapping process is safe.

"We give them a little bit of bedding that they can chew up and make a nest with to stay warm in the evenings."

When it's time to check the traps she describes it like Christmas - you're opening a present and you're never sure what's going to be in it.

She recently captured a northern short-tail shrew, something she had been hoping to find for a while, "We've found them all around the parks in the past but we've never actually documented them within the park."

Now she has hope that wildlife that need the shrew as a food source can live a healthy life right in the city.

You can learn more about Milwaukee's wildlife at HKE MKE. It's a benefit hike for the Urban Ecology Center. The 2.5 mile hike is scenic and family-friendly. It is Sunday, September 17th. Get more information here.

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