White Memorial's Terrestrial Small Mammal Inventory

Juvenile Masked Shrew (Sorex cinereus)
Photo by James Fischer
Inventorying terrestrial small mammal species requires the use of multiple survey methods to insure a thorough assessment of all species.  We are preparing for this project during 2012 and will need help by a series of dedicated volunteers.  Every volunteer will receive training and advisement during the course of this project.  Our goal is to assess the species of terrestrial small mammal species that inhabit the critical habitats found on White Memorial Foundation property.  We will focus our survey efforts on the shrews and moles (Order Insectivora - insect eaters), as well as squirrels, mice, and voles (Order Rodentia - gnawing mammals or rodents).  These species are often overlooked by inventory efforts because they are secretive, even though they are abundant and widespread.  These species are important because they are prey species for many of our predators or serve as predators themselves to many invertebrate organisms.  Some of these species have been found to serve important ecological roles in the disease transmission that affect humans (i.e. Lyme Disease).  And their most important role of all is that they are challenging to work with, which forces you to put on your ecological detectives hat when you explore their lives.  Life's greatest gifts come from its biggest challenges and can be found in the smallest of packages.  If you are interested in helping with this survey please contact James Fischer, WMCC Research Director.  There is much to be done to get ready for the season, so every bit of help ahead of time is greatly appreciated.

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