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Fall Movements of Allegheny Woodrats in Harvested and Intact Stands in West Virginia

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Populations of the Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) have experienced declines over the last 30 years, particularly in the northern and western parts of their range. Although relatively untested, silvicultural practices that alter forest structure and composition have been hypothesized as having negative impacts on Allegheny woodrat habitat and populations. To investigate the effects of timber harvesting on Allegheny woodrats in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, we compared home range size and foraging movements between woodrats adjacent to a harvested stand to those in an intact forest stand during fall 1997 using radio telemetry. Mean home range size of all woodrats combined was 0.65 (±0.20) ha. Mean home range, movement rate, and maximum distance traveled from the den did not differ between the harvested and intact stands or between sex or age classes. Home range and foraging movements in fall were considerably smaller than those documented from summer in previous studies. It is likely that home range and foraging movements are affected less by surrounding habitat alterations in fall and winter than in summer because of limited movements away from the outcrop and reliance on cached foods.
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Keywords: Foraging; Neotoma magister; home range; movement rate; radiotelemetry; timber harvesting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Warnell School of Forest Resources University of Georgia Athens GA 30602 2: Loganville High School Loganville GA 30052 3: Northeastern Research Station USDA Forest Service Parsons WV 26287 4: US Geological Survey, West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Division of Forestry West Virginia University Morgantown WV 26506

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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