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Evaluation of Factors Restricting Distribution of the Endangered Key Largo Woodrat

Christopher Winchester, Steven B. Castleberry and Michael T. Mengak
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 73, No. 3 (Apr., 2009), pp. 374-379
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40208538
Page Count: 6
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Evaluation of Factors Restricting Distribution of the Endangered Key Largo Woodrat
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Abstract

We examined a suite of models in an information theoretic framework to identify factors restricting presence of the endangered Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli) throughout its remaining habitat. Models containing variables related to availability of nest sites and mammalian predator abundances were supported by our data. Abundance of natural (large overstory trees) and artificial (rock and debris piles) nest substrate were the most important predictor variables, followed by indices of feral cat and raccoon (Procyon lotor) abundance. We recommend increasing abundance of nest substrate in the short term through addition of artificial nest substrate and in the long term through continued protection of remaining forest habitat.

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