Small and Medium Sized Mammal Inventory for Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve
Small and medium sized mammals are ecologically very critical as a food base, as predators, as vectors for disease and seed distribution, and other connections in the natural system. Despite their undeniable importance, these taxa have not been systematically inventoried in South Florida since the mid 1950's. To fill this void in the literature, this project will inventory habitats that would support these animals in both Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve, using standard live trapping techniques (Sherman Live traps, Tomahawk, Pit fall), tracking, remotely tripped cameras and visual encounters. Our goals will be to identify small and medium mammals occurring in various communities in both parks; determine spatial and temporal (wet and dry seasons) patterns (distribution, relative abundance, and habitat associations) of these species; and evaluate occurrence of mammals of specific interest (those listed as present in parks, but not reported for decades i.e. Mangrove fox squirrels); and develop a geographic information system data layer for each species to be used for modeling, prescribed fire planning, and long term monitoring. To accomplish these goals, a species/habitat matrix will be constructed from existing literature/documentation regarding occurrence of mammals within the two parks. This matrix will then be used to develop and conduct a systematic sampling effort. For those species that are expected but not detected during systematic sampling, mammal specialists be solicited to assist in the development of more specialized survey techniques. By understanding the current status of these species, we can ensure that they will be considered as a key component to the natural system in which we are manipulating through CERP and non-CERP projects.
Frank J. Mazzotti, Emily Pifer, Jennifer Eells
Virtual Field Trips