Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bunny Trouble

Zoe Panchen

Field work often comes with certain unforeseen issues and in my case that seems to have been the antics of the wildlife. A muskox tripped over one of my temperature data loggers and dragged the whole set up a few yards but amazingly it continued to work. The Artic Hares, on the other hand, just love to eat. They chewed through a temperature sensor wire, ate plants I was monitoring and even had a go at the plant tags labeling the plants. In Iqaluit the problem was with Ravens and humans pulling out plant tags.
At my highest site, 750m up McGill Mountain, I arrived one day to find what looked like a mini hurricane had gone through with plant tags strewn everywhere! In some cases it was possible to match the plant tag with the correct plant but in many cases monitoring that plant could no longer continue.
Mmmm …. lousewort flowers, my favourite!
On a couple of occasions there was an Arctic Hare at “work” close to our sites and the cute “bunny” clearly has a preference for flowers rather than leaves; high on the list of favourites are Arctic Louseworts (Pedicularis arctica), Arctic Poppies (Papaver) and Spider Plant (Saxifraga flagellaris) flowers.


  1. Hello Zoe! I'm really enjoying your blog; it is fascinating. Thank you for sharing your experiences up north.

    I'm on the email subscription list for the University of British Columbia (UBC) Botany Photo of the Day; today's post was on Saxifraga flagellaris. That made me think of you and your work, so popped over to your site to visit...and look at that - your most recent post is about Artic Hares eating said fascinating and beautiful (and apparently tasty) plants.

    Keep up the good work, and all the best from our family!


  2. Ah yes, I am well aware of the "bunny trouble" issue, but I have it at home, rather than in the field. That is one tough-looking bunny! "Don't mess with my lousewort," he seems to be saying.


  3. Ah, ever it was! Our problem was a big brown one that liked jumpers, I seem to remember!!
    Looking forward to meeting Chris's bunny