Michael T. Mengak

Nest Site and Microhabitat Selection by Key Largo Woodrats

Reductions in habitat quantity and quality have contributed to precipitous declines in the Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli) population over the last 30 years. Additional information on microhabitat and nest site selection is needed to increase quality of the remaining habitat and increase the population. In 2005-2006, we evaluated microhabitat selection by comparing structure and composition of vegetation at known woodrat locations to random locations in available areas. We evaluated nest site selection by comparing nest substrate availability and habitat characteristics...


Comparison of Methods for Estimating Key Largo Woodrat Abundance

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Monitoring abundance of the endangered Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli) is necessary to understand population responses to prescribed management actions. We compared efficiency of adaptive cluster sampling (ACS) and stratified-random sampling (SRS) for estimating Key Largo woodrat abundance and compared three stratification designs using poststratification. We established 40 trapping grids using a stratified random design and adaptively sampled around grids on which at least 1 individual was captured. We captured 11 individuals on 40 random grids and an additional 22...


Forage Production, Use by White-tailed Deer, and Seasonal Crude Protein Level of Three Cool Season Forages in Georgia

In the southeastern United States, food plots are often used to compensate for annual fluctuations in forage quantity and quality. We evaluated forage production, seasonal use by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and seasonal crude protein levels of MaxQ fescue (Festuca arundinacea), Regal ladino white clover (Trifolium repens), and Durana white clover (T. repens) planted alone or in combination. We planted two 1-ha food plots in the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Blue Ridge physiographic regions of Georgia in November 2002. We measured forage production (kg/ha) and use every 30 (±...


Fire Impacts to Small Mammals in Piedmont Oak-shelterwoods

Successful regeneration of oaks on better sites (SI50>60) has proven difficult in recent decades due to competition from faster growing species and well-established advanced regeneration from more shade-tolerant species. The suppression of fire is thought to have played a critical role in allowing this largely fire-intolerant competition to dominate many upland hardwood forests at the expense of oaks. As part of a larger study examining the role of prescribed fire in regenerating upland oaks, seasonal prescribed burns were applied to first-stage shelterwood harvested stands on Horsepen...


Comparison of Two Diet Analysis Techniques Applied to White-tailed Deer

Paired rumen and fecal samples from 89 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) collected in the South Carolina Coastal Plain were analyzed using standard macro- and micro-techniques, respectively. Compared to fecal analysis, rumen analysis identified fewer plant taxa per sample (P < 0.05). A significant correlation among mean percent weights of forage categories (P < 0.05) and taxa (P < 0.05) was found. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients for percent frequency of detection were also significant for forage categories (P < 0.05) and taxa (P < 0.05). Estimates of mean...