Bruce Museum to launch Cat Tracker program

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich is seeking owners of outdoor cats to help launch its first citizen science initiative, called Cat Tracker. This project seeks to investigate the movement of domestic cats across the landscape.

Tim Walsh, the new citizen science coordinator at the Bruce Museum, has been testing the tracking units and is excited to sign up volunteer “citizen scientists” who want to discover the secret life of their feline friend. Participants will be loaned a harness and GPS unit for their cat at no charge for one week.

“Does your cat stay in the backyard or does it wander out into your neighborhood, or even farther afield? We will compare your local cat’s range data with data from cats in coyote-free Long Island to see if they roam differently where a top predator lurks nearby,” Mr. Walsh said.

Incorporating Movebank technology, a free and openly accessible online database of animal movement data, the Bruce Museum will be working in cooperation with scientists and researchers from the group Your Wild Life and the North Carolina Museum of Natural History as well as the volunteer citizen scientists who would like to participate in the Cat Tracker project.

This is the first of a series of four citizen science projects that the Bruce Museum will sponsor in which individuals, families, or classes can participate. Upcoming projects will deal with ants, turtles and natural history writing and art. Harnessing the passion of the public to become amateur researchers helps not only with the gathering of important data on a wide scale but also with inspiring a new generation of future scientists.

Cat owners in the Fairfield County or Westchester County area who normally allow their cats to roam outside and are interested in helping with the Cat Tracker project should contact Mr. Walsh at [email protected] or 203-413-6767.

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