Habitat diversity and seasonal changes in small mammal populations at Indio Mountains Research Station, Hudspeth County, Texas

Helen Elizabeth Brewer, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to monitor small mammal diversity, intersite variation, and seasonal fluctuations in population in four microhabitat plots at Indio Mountains Research Station, Hudspeth County, Texas. The survey began in July 2003 and lasted through July 2004 with nine sampling dates over the four seasons. One-hectare plots were established in four sampling areas which exhibit different substrates and vegetation types. The site with the highest number and greatest species diversity of small mammals captured over the four seasons was Agate Hill. It is composed of igneous rock and contains the greatest amount and most diverse vegetation of the four sites. The Echo Canyon site, characterized by rocky Cretaceous limestone and low plant diversity, showed the lowest number of captures as well as the lowest species diversity. A total of five species of small mammals were captured. The rock pocket mouse ( Chaetodipus intermedius) was most frequently captured, followed by Merriam's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami). Winter was the most successful season, with the greatest total number of animals captured from the combined sites, while spring had the fewest captures. Each species favored different seasons, C. intermedius was most frequently captured during the summer, whereas D. merriami and P. eremicus were both captured in greater numbers in the fall and winter. Ammospermophilus interpres was captured once during the fall, winter, and spring at both Agate Hill and Snail Hill Draw. Neotoma leucodon was captured only once at Agate Hill, and that was during winter. ^

Subject Area

Biology, Ecology|Biology, Zoology

Recommended Citation

Brewer, Helen Elizabeth, "Habitat diversity and seasonal changes in small mammal populations at Indio Mountains Research Station, Hudspeth County, Texas" (2004). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1423723.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1423723

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