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Update on Olympic Project nest sites

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Huntster
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5 minutes ago, NatFoot said:

.......Is there an aerial map or drawing showing us the scatter of nests and how close they all are?.......

 

Great question, but I'm sure there isn't..........unless one uses our own SSR with the query term "nest" and plots it on Google Earth. But since nests are so rarely found or reported, I don't think it would be comprehensive enough. 

 

My reading of nest finds indicates that they are singular finds. Unlike gorillas, these guys appear to use their nests more in a seasonal way instead of nightly, and they appear to live individually or in a small, family group instead of a larger troop or harem like gorillas. 

 

Two other nest finds that interest me were the Lyle Laverty nest find on Scorpion Ridge almost immediately above the PG film site, and the Eric Muench nest find above Klawok Lake on Prince of Wales Island. There was also another nest find documented by Robert Alley on POW Island that was situated on a "ledge" which was described as being in an extremely secreted spot.

4 minutes ago, Huntster said:

..........unless one uses our own SSR with the query term "nest" and plots it on Google Earth..........

 

Whoops! I just tried to follow my own advice and discovered that there is no way to query the term "nest". :(

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hiflier
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Aerial Map? None that that I know of. The area is off limits to the public so that probably includes maps. The window of investigation is reportedly up this coming May. In the last four and a half years the vegetation on the huckleberries used for nest construction has regrown to the point where signs of previous breakage has all but been hidden. At least this in my understanding from snippets of conversation I've read and heard on past podcasts.

 

The 21 nests were seen to be in various stages of decay with six of them being the freshest as of early Summer 2015. So to me it would seem, depending on the amount of estimated nest decomposition, that whatever made them did it in stages. I'm speculating big time here but if it was Sasquatch that made the nests, with the last six built sometime early Spring 2015 then the total may have started out as maybe one or two? Then each season, or every other season a couple of more were built. Then maybe three or four more. Then five, then six? If that could be shown to be true then an expanding troop might be the reason. Say over the course of 10-15 years? Best guess is that females reach maturity for mating at 10 years. If that were the case then I could see the most recent six nests as being second or even third generation. All speculation of course but various details I have gathered would seem to point to it.

 

So return visits by something, or someone, up until discovery. Now? Who knows because I don't know how much disturbance still goes on there. Cameras are up and supposedly well hidden but cards still need to be gathered from the devices. Sometime during the initial visits some footfalls were heard and a couple of footprints were noted. I mention it just in case anyone has forgotten about these earlier details.  

Edited by hiflier

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NatFoot
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I shouldn't have used the term aerial map.

 

Surely someone made a drawing plotting the nests and their distance and state of decay....right?

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hiflier
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There is no doubt about that as documentation has been par for the course from the outset. But on the subject of an aerial map my understanding is that the canopy over the area is so dense that even a small drone would have a hard time being navigated underneath it. In fact, the dialogue all along has been how strategic this location would be both as defense and as having built in advanced warning because of the density of the understory. Just getting through the thick wall of the huckleberries would alert anyone or anything on the finger ridge of an approach. It's a perfect location as far as security goes if one counts the time-consuming difficulty that Humans have just getting in there.

Edited by hiflier
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Huntster
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22 hours ago, hiflier said:

..........The area is off limits to the public so that probably includes maps. The window of investigation is reportedly up this coming May.........

 

Is this native or timber corporation land? Do you know why their investigation period is ending?

 

.........The 21 nests were seen to be in various stages of decay with six of them being the freshest as of early Summer 2015........

 

Twenty one nests?! I didn't know that! 

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hiflier
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56 minutes ago, Huntster said:

Twenty one nests?! I didn't know that! 

 

Huntster, there are many reasons why the discovery was so remarkable. That's just one of them. The land is privately own by a family for some generations. My guess though is if the landowners were NA then the find may not have been publicly announced and the Olympic Project might have been called in.

 

As an added detail the OP was given a five year window to investigate the site. The nesting area is slated for timber harvesting in mid 2020 according to either Randles or Corson. Heard that on one of Shane Corson's Monster X podcasts. There was about a half dozen of these podcasts that discussed the nesting site. The last one I listened to had a March 17 or 18, 2018 date on it.

 

I know they make updates available at conferences and so forth but not much new has come from them. Except for Meldrum and Disotell's separate announcements that there was no novel primate in the e-DNA samples I haven't heard much of anything new for about a year. 

Edited by hiflier

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Huntster
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2 hours ago, hiflier said:

.......The land is privately own by a family for some generations.........

 

Any idea how large this parcel is and if it adjoins lands closed to or difficult to access by the public?

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hiflier
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Not sure. The overall timberland was described as "substantial". The site itself was said to be miles in behind locked gates. The size of the property must be quite extensive because the family has a long-standing philosophy of only cutting areas every fifty years. So the nesting site itself hasn't been touched for a long, long time in which case , at an elevation of under 500' is truly temperate rain forest. No snow falls there and the canopy along with the understory is extremely dense. That's why it is such a physical struggle to get to the site, not to mention the steepness of the main ridge that the finger ridges extend out from. The site is on one of those finger ridges.

 

Each finger ridge is separated b\y a kind of ravine or valley that drops down to the headwaters of a salmon stream. All of this was public information IF one listened carefully to the podcasts. My understanding is that the finger ridges extend out to the West of the main ridge. The huckleberry stand used to construct the nests lays along the head of the site's finger ridge which acted like a wall one couldn't get through without alerting whoever or whatever was out on the finger ridge. The last I knew of the project was that they were going to scout a second finger ridge to see if there was any evidence of more nest building. That's when the updates kind of stopped.

 

After that everyone waited for the results to come in from the e-DNA samples taken from the soil from under the center of several nests. Disotell announced the results in December or 2018 but Meldrum announced the same results the previous September, 2018. The initial find made it to mainstream news organizations but the results did not as far as I know.

 

Results? The usual animals in the region along with Human DNA but according to Dr. Disotell the samples were to degraded from freezing and moisture to show a novel primate. 

Edited by hiflier
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