Flattened fauna

Today while out walking I saw two dead muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus), victims of P.A.’s vehicular traffic. That makes four of the water-loving rodents that I’ve seen on city streets this this summer. In 19 years of living in Prince Albert, I don’t recall seeing a muskrat within city limits until this year. What would make the muskrats leave their natural habitat to go wandering the mean streets? From my rudimentary knowledge of the species, I would expect them to be on the move when their sloughs dry up. However we’ve had an unusually wet year locally, and the sloughs are at or above normal levelsl, so I doubt that’s the reason. Maybe the population is just unusually high this year and some members are being driven out of their communities? I suspect the fact that trapping is out of favour (and fur prices are low), combined with lack of natural predators, may have something to do with it. On the other hand, maybe there have been as many in previous years and I just haven’t noticed.

So many questions, and of such importance.

The above is a sample of the thoughts meandering through my mind on today’s walk. And what a glorious day for a walk it was, after all those cold, wet weeks..

It’s just unfortunate that I didn’t see any living wildlife.

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