- Sherman trap,
- small mammals,
- prescribed burn,
- population shift,
Prescribed burning is used on prairies for increased prairie health and to manage the communities of organisms that rely on the prairie’s natural resources. Small mammals are also affected by the burning of prairies. Previous research by Chance in 1986 and Cook in 1950 has established that burning decreases the small mammal capture rates in the burned area because of the habitat loss and rapid change of habitat post-burn that stresses the animals and leads to lower reproductive levels (Chance, 1986). Other studies by Francl and Small also showed that small mammal populations did not return to pre-burn numbers even after 16 months of evaluation (Francl, K. E., & Small, C. J., 2013). We hypothesize that small mammal populations will decrease in the prairie after burning because of a lack of habitat and food source and that they will emigrate from the burning site to nearby prairie or similar habitat.
We will use baited Sherman live traps placed at 25 meter intervals in order to estimate the various small mammal populations in each of the observed habitats. We will plot the capture locations on a map of the area in order to track how stress affects the shift of population density.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_gathany/24/