Dale H. Arner

Bird Communities on Conservation Buffers and Mowed Field Edges of Two Agricultural Land Bases in Mississippi

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

We conducted a 13-year study to determine bird species richness and abundance in field edges maintained in conservation buffers and mowed field edges on two agricultural experiment stations in Mississippi. Both experiment stations were intensively managed for agricultural row crop and dairy production with field edges managed with frequent mowing and herbicide application. Habitat reclamation and management on 41 ha of field edges was initiated on each farm in 1988 and included selective spraying herbicides to control agronomic grasses, cessation of annual mowing, protection from livestock...


A Survey of Beaver Impoundments and Landowner Beaver Control Strategies in Mississippi

In 1997, a statewide inventory in Mississippi estimated the number and area of beaver (Castor canadensis) impoundments ≥0.4 ha in size. Data were compared with an identical survey performed in 1977. Number and area of impoundments in 1997 (1,783 and 11,728 ha, respectively) decreased from 1977 (2,739 and 28,768 ha, respectively). Landowners were mailed a questionnaire concerning the effectiveness of various methods for killing and disposing of beavers. Beaver meat and pelts were discarded by 87.8% of the landowners. Of the 9,332 beaver known to be killed in 1996 statewide, 67% were killed...


Plant Community Characteristics within an 18-year-old Deer Exclosure in Southern Mississippi

We recorded plant community characteristics in an 18-year-old, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) exclosure in the Lower Coastal Plain of Mississippi during summer 1996. The 0.4-ha exclosure was constructed in 1977 within upland pine (Pinus spp.) forest of the Leaf River Wildlife Management Area in Perry County, Mississippi. Surveys at the time of exclosure construction revealed that similar plant cover and species richness existed inside and outside of the exclosure. Surveys were conducted during 1996 along 8 37-m transects located inside and outside the exclosure. Forest canopy...


Renovation of Johnsongrass Communities with Vetch to Benefit Northern Bobwhites

Land taken out of cultivation in the Blackland Prairie soils of Alabama and Mississippi frequently reverts to a plant community dominated by Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), with co-dominants of marsh elder (Iva annua), verbena (Verbena brasiliensis), and Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis). These plant species are of little value as a food source for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and eliminate many desirable quail food plants. Renovation of a Johnsongrass community was attempted by mowing during the fall and overseeding with hairy vetch (Vicia villosa). Seeds of...


Methods of Determining Litter Size in Beaver

Estimates of litter size in beaver (Castor canadensis), based on counts of corpora lutea, placental scars, and corpora albicantia, were compared to known litter size determined by fetus counts. Estimates based on corpora albicantia (x = 4.2) were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than with any other method. Numbers of corpora lutea (x = 3.0), placental scars (x = 2.8), and fetuses (x = 2.6) did not differ (P > 0.05). No reproductive parameter differed by beaver age-class.


Beaver Pelt Damage in Mississippi

Beaver pelts from the Mississippi Beaver Cooperative fur sale held during March 1980 were examined to determine both the extent and origin of the damage responsible for downgrading. Of 1,914 pelts in the sample, 1,255 (65.6%) were significantly damaged. Damage inflicted by beaver accounted for 27.5% of the total. Skinning and fleshing cuts accounted for 31.5% of the damage. All other types plus those of unknown origin totaled 41.0%. Methods of dealing with the damage problem are discussed.


Increase In Beaver Impounded Water In Mississippi Over A Ten Year Period

An inventory of beaver (Castor canadensis) impounded water 0.4 ha and greater in area in Mississippi was conducted using the same technique as a survey made a decade earlier. The data revealed almost a 300% increase of beaver impounded areas. The increase indicates a probable yearly increase of impoundments of 11.5% per year.


The Effects Of Channelization On Furbearers And Furbearer Habitat

Biological data were collected over a 3 year period (1974-1977) from an old channelized segment (55 years), an unchannelized segment and a newly channelized segment (4 years) of the Luxapalila River in Mississippi and Alabama. This study revealed that furbeal'er habitat in the channelized segments has not recovered to the level exhibited in the unchannelized segment. Indices of furbearer abundance were obtained by night lighting and sign counting. Beaver (Castor canadensis), mink (Mustela vison), muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), and raccoon (Procyon lotor) were more numerous in the...


Comparison of Aquatic Ecosystems in Two National Waterfowl Refuges

A study was made of the aquatic ecosystem of two national waterfowl refuges in Mississippi todeterrnine if there are significant environmental differences between the two refuges which might be correlated with evident differences in wood duck (Aix sponsa) productivity. Standing crops of seeds and plants used by waterfowl were measured. soil and water quality analyses were made, and phytoplankton concentrations were determined. Various aquatic plant communities were sampled to determine the abundance and species of macroinvertebrates. The gullet contents of 50 young wood ducks collected...