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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Surveying North Idaho critters

Researchers are tapping citizen scientists to survey reclusive creatures in the Idaho Panhandle, ranging from slugs and frogs to lynx and wolverines. (See story.) Outdoors editor Rich Landers tagged along with a group of volunteers who snowshoed into the backcountry for a winter check on a bait station that's part of North Idaho's Multi-species Baseline Initiative. The group downloaded photos from a motion activated camera set up to capture images of wolverines or other critters scientists are studying. The collected hair from the bait station for DNA testing. Then they rebaited the station with a fresh, frozen beaver carcass and left, to return again weeks later. Landers' photos are combined here with images from the many Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness volunteers who trek far into the backcountry tending dozens of monitoring sites for the project organized by the Idaho Fish and Game Department. The best photos, though, are the trail-cam images of various critters that wander the winter backcountry of the Selkirk, Purcell and Cabinet mountains.