Calling all single socks

Back in October we suggested Glove Love as a re-use solution for any lonely single gloves and now we also know where you can send your solitary socks! Im never quite sure how single socks occur (perhaps I have a sock-eating monster living in my washing-machine?) but inevitably they do and now a Pacific Fisher population study is asking for them to help study these creatures.

Pacific Fishers are a rare weasel like mammals that now exist only in Sierra Nevada due to fur trade trappers and extensive logging of old forest areas. The team studying the Pacific Fishers are part of the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP), which is examining the effects of forest thinning for fire protection, on the health of local wildlife, the forest and water resources.

The Pacific Fishers spend most of their time in the trees and so are very difficult to monitor which is why Rick Sweitzer and his team use chicken meat as bate to lure them down, where motion sensitive camera equipment can capture images of them. They have found that by wrapping the bate up in a sock is perfect for the study, as according to Rick, "it takes them a little bit of time to chew the sock apart to get at the meat, so we get a lot of photographs."

fisher weaselTo help with the study, they are asking for your old (but clean), unwanted or single socks. So far they have bought over 2,000 socks for the study which is not only costly but also a bit embarrassing

Rick explains, "my real motivation for this sock drive is so that I don't have to stand in line at Walmart with two or three cartloads full of all the socks I can find. I get a lot of stares and a lot of interesting questions."

If you'd like to donate some old socks for re-use to Rick and the SNAMP wildlife research team, they can be mailed or delivered to 40799 Elliott Dr., Oakhurst CA 9364. To learn more about the project, visit the SNAMP website.

Images provided by Rick Sweitzer, SNAMP

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