Over the past 10 years, where have you seen wildlife in Pittsford? For the moment, let’s look past the deer, since most of us have seen them around occasionally, or woodchucks, which are in our gardens all too frequently. If you have seen any larger, more elusive mammals, a group called the Staying Connected Initiative has begun to map sightings of bear, bobcat, moose, and other animals around Pittsford. This map has been compiled over the spring and summer of 2010 to reflect reported sightings. If you would like to add a sighting to the map, please contact monica..
What does this map tell us? Its purpose is to help us learn a bit more about local patterns of wildlife movement. Many mammals use networks of forest cover in much the same way we use roads: they stay hidden as much as possible by traveling along hedgerows or next to streams in their daily search for food, often returning to the same pathways. The places where we most often see them are locations where their “road” systems intersect with our own roads and yards. These tend to be places where the animal must venture into the open to get from one patch of forest to another—and where we can see them most easily. Some animals, like red foxes, are more likely to cross our roads and open areas than others, so they are more often seen in populated areas. Others will really only venture into these areas when food is extremely scarce—or when a bird feeder or garbage can full of food scraps proves particularly tempting!