Will this harm my land or the animals on it?
We do everything in our power to leave as little trace as possible, including traveling by foot (no motor vehicles), using the same path when checking traps, and cleaning up when done. In terms of the animals, we check the traps at first light to minimize time spent in the trap, ensure all project personnel are properly trained in handling the animals, and minimize the time spent handling the animals. All animals are released at the location they were trapped.
Will you let me know when you are on my land?
Of course! We want to be as transparent with you as possible, and will let you know when we are visiting. We can also let you know where traps are set and how many.
May I receive a copy of your results when the study is complete?
Of course!-- While we do not anticipate the overall study being complete within the next few years (we have sites globally), we are happy to share progress reports and the final results of the study.
Are any big businesses funding this research in any way?
No. We have received all of our funding from the National Science Foundation and the Natural Environment Research Council; we do not engage with big business.
How will you measure gene flow and if genetic diversity is being maintained?
When an individual is caught (be it a mouse, a opossum, rabbit, etc.), we take a very small genetic sample. That sample is then extracted for DNA, and analyzed using microsatellite markers to look at genetic differences between individuals of the same species caught. Using these differences, we can assess how closely related individuals are and draw conclusions about the health of the populations and if they are genetically diverse.