Land management, Small mammals, Habitat restoration, Adaptive management
Proper habitat management is essential for the survival and reproduction of species, especially those listed under state or federal laws as endangered, threatened or of special concern, and those with small local populations. Land managers use a combination of mechanical cutting and prescribed burning to manage and restore degraded scrub habitat in east central Florida. This approach improves habitat for the endangered Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), but little is known about its effects on other taxa, especially the threatened southeastern beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus niveiventris). This single species approach may not be beneficial to other taxa, and mechanical cutting and prescribed burning may have detrimental effects on P. p. niveiventris. To evaluate the effects of land management techniques on P. p. niveiventris, I live trapped populations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station near Titusville, Florida during 2004-2005. I evaluated the relative abundance and related demographic parameters of small mammal populations trapped in compartments under different land management treatments, and investigated the relationship between Florida scrub-jay breeding groups using these compartments and abundance of southeastern beach mice. My results suggest that P. p. niveiventris responded positively to prescribed burning, while the cotton mouse (P. gossypinus) responded positively to the mechanical cutting. Reproduction and body mass of southeastern beach mice were similar across land management compartments. Abundance of Florida scrub-jay breeding groups and southeastern beach mice were positively correlated suggesting that both listed species benefited from the same land management activities. A mosaic of burned and cut patches should be maintained to support small mammal diversity. In addition, adaptive management should be used at CCAFS to understand how small mammals, particularly the southeastern beach mouse, respond to land management activities.
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Stout, I. Jack
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Suazo, Alexis, "Responses Of Small Rodents To Restoration And Management Techniques Of Florida Scrub At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florid" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3367.