Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Biology

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Randall FitzGerald

Committee Member

Lisa Hazard

Committee Member

Scott Kight

Subject(s)

Allegheny wood rat--Hudson River (N.Y. and N.J.)--Population

Abstract

Allegheny woodrats (Neotoma magister) are an endangered species within New Jersey, with a limited number of individuals found within one small area of suitable habitat along the Hudson River Palisades. There are very little detailed datum on the number of woodrats living at this location, however new conservation measures are being instituted to sustain this last remaining population in New Jersey. To gather additional data on the extent of the population of woodrats at this location, wildlife camera monitoring was conducted in two-week intervals at 10 separate locations that appeared to have satisfactory habitat for the woodrats but had not been previously surveyed. Camera monitoring showed that woodrats were present on six of the ten sites surveyed, indicating that the population is more extensive than previously thought. In addition to camera-trap surveys, an analysis of live trapping data from 1987-2017 indicates that the population has fluctuated widely over those years, but has increased in recent years, presumably due to several conservation measures recently initiated. Conservation efforts during this study included the translocation of individuals from Pennsylvania, a raccoon baiting program to rid the area of a deadly woodrat parasite, and supplemental feeding. The results from this research indicate that these conservation measures have stabilized the population, and that the population has expanded into adjacent suitable habitat within the Palisades.

Included in

Biology Commons

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