Cole Weigartz is part of the Class of 2021 and is majoring in Conservation Biology. He is particularly interested in studying mammals and forest ecology. During his summer fellowship, he studied habitat preferences for porcupines, which he will continue during his senior year. After graduating, he plans on continuing his studies and completing a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology. Although he enjoys doing lots of outdoors fieldwork, he also enjoys crocheting, video games, and being a TA for General Biology.
This study analyzed North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) camera trap data from northern New York using Program R. After classifying the camera trap photos with an online public platform, I created occupancy models that tested different covariates. These models revealed what environmental factors affected the detection and occupancy (usage) of porcupines. I found that the specific forest type and the mean tree density affected the detection of porcupines. None of the covariates tested affected porcupine occupancy.