You think you’re cold? Try living in a travel trailer at 9,000 feet in the Beartooth Mountains in the winter. That’s what Patrick Cross and Jake Kay are doing as they conduct research on red foxes this winter.
The trailer is actually a pretty nice refuge from the cold, wind and snow, despite the fact that it’s heated solely by one propane burner. But there are challenges to such a cold climate, including: avalanches that could occur during the daily snowmobile commute; drawing water from the nearby lake with a bucket attached to a rope; and making sure the maze of pathways and the top of the trailer is kept clear of snow.
The men are living in the remote location as they study red foxes. The foxes may be ice age descendants, adapted to live at such high winter elevations. So Cross and Kay are trapping foxes, taking tissue samples and collaring adults as part of a Yellowstone Ecological Research Center study, and for Cross’ graduate thesis.
Find out more online at billingsgazette.com at: http://bit.ly/1hDbLDI and http://bit.ly/1hDcVz9
(Written by Brett French – Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette; Photo via Brett French)
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