Clint Smith

Mound Densities of Red Imported Fire Ants Associated with Gopher Tortoise Burrows on Private and Public Forest Lands in Mississippi

Many studies have reported that imported fire ants can have negative impacts to property, wildlife, and ecosystem integrity. Depredation by fire ants can reduce native insect diversity and survival of hatchling birds and reptiles, including gopher tortoises. Because of the potential impacts of fire ants on gopher tortoise recruitment, we assessed infestation levels of red imported fire ants on public and private forest lands in south Mississippi. Our study design focused on surveys for estimation of densities of fire ant mounds on suitable and priority soils for gopher tortoises. We...