Here's a job you'll either think is super cute... or it will gross you out!

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has partnered with The Natural Heritage Program, SUNY ESF in Syracuse, and the Central Pine Barrens to conduct a small mammal variation and distribution research project.

This specific study is taking place this summer throughout the Long Island region, but has been an ongoing effort all over New York State since 2019. It's the DEC's first attempt at trapping in the Long Island region, which will continue at 20 different sites over the next two years in Nassau and Suffolk County.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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The DEC and their partners have baited live traps (drop buckets and Sherman traps) to capture the small mammals. Drop buckets are a small container that has been dug into the ground. Sherman traps are a small, box-like trap made to capture live animals.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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What small mammals are they looking for? This survey includes mice, voles, moles, shrews and so many more. Analysts will record the animal's weight, sex, and habitat before hole punching their ear and taking it for species confirmation.

This will also help researchers keep track on whether or not the animal has been previously captured or not.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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The Department of Environmental Conservation hopes this effort will help increase the knowledge of the New York's small mammal population. They are one of the most abundant animals in the state, but also the most overlooked as well.

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