Habitat Use of the Key Largo Woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli) Thesis

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Barth, Lauren J

abstract

  • Key Largo woodrats are an endangered subspecies with an extremely limited habitat. This study sought to understand woodrat habitat preferences in order to guide management. Woodrats build stick nests from natural and artificial materials, so nest distribution and nest occupancy were used as indicators of preference. Distribution was determined by nest surveys, and remote cameras were used to assess occupancy. Forest structure, human disturbance, nest, and animal presence metrics were also collected. More nests were found along abandoned roads than along forest transects and more artificial nests were occupied than natural nests. These findings indicate that woodrats prefer areas with human disturbance, rather than forest age and structure as previously believed. This may have consequences on woodrat management, as it suggests that man-made materials are currently needed by woodrats even in a protected natural area.

publication date

  • November 12, 2014

keywords

  • Key Largo woodrat
  • Neotoma floridana smalli
  • conservation
  • distribution
  • ecology
  • endangered species
  • habitat
  • nest
  • occupancy

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)