2014-10-02 / Nature

The Straight Poop on Scat

By Jack Kelly


USFWS volunteers Jack Lewis and Maxine Bornstein display red fox, coyote and striped skunk scat mock-ups. USFWS volunteers Jack Lewis and Maxine Bornstein display red fox, coyote and striped skunk scat mock-ups. The Visitor’s Center at the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge houses a variety of nature displays that depict the wildlife occupying the refuge’s diverse habitats. Visitors are encouraged to explore the “discovery drawers” associated with each display, and to learn about the animals’ behaviors and habits.

According to Sarah Griffith, volunteer coordinator for the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, “We use many educational tools to assist the public in understanding the wildlife populations that inhabit Sachuest Point. It’s not always possible to observe the various creatures that roam the property, but we can identify a number of them by what they leave behind. Tracks and droppings, or scat, are easily identifiable and allow a visitor to get a sense of what type of animal may have traveled through a particular region of the refuge.”

One display drawer includes the addition of rubber mock-ups of red fox, coyote, and striped skunk scat. “These exhibits will assist our visitors in both identifying and understanding the ranges of animals across the refuge property,” Griffith said.

The Visitor’s Center is open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily, and the refuge’s trails are open from dawn until dusk. Organized school field trips, student nature and science explorations, and other youth group activities are welcome. For more information, call 401-847-5511 or contact sarah_griffith@fws.gov.

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