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06.04.2014 admin
On June 30, 2016 this Commonwealth Enterprise Portal (WebCenter Interaction) will be retired from service. Prepare your agency now by moving content from Communities, Knowledge Directory, Publisher, and Collaboration projects to alternative systems. Wood rats are roughly the same size as the more familiar Norway rat, and can be distinguished from Norway rats by their hairy tails, large, leaf-like ears, and pale-colored feet.
With a research interest in wildlife ecology, Duchamp studies the woodrat for its value as an indicator of forest health. Truth be told, the woodrats—sporting soft, gray coats and fluffy tails—are far from their better known, sewer-dwelling relatives. According to Duchamp, dwindling food supplies and harmful raccoon roundworm have added to the problem.
Duchamp and his fellow researchers, including IUP biology professor Jeffery Larkin, are working to keep the woodrat off the endangered species list.
Within his field, Duchamp focuses on wildlife population and community ecology, mammalogy, and biostatistics.
Addressing questions related to the conservation and management of vertebrate wildlife populations, Duchamp aims to provide information that improves people’s ability to live alongside a diverse array of wildlife.
His research efforts are quantitative, bringing together diverse datasets and using innovative statistical tools.
Classes Duchamp teaches at IUP include Anatomy and Advanced Anatomy for undergraduates, Mammalogy for undergraduate and graduate students, and Population and Community Ecology at the graduate level. Duchamp received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan, a master’s in ecology from Indiana State University, and a Ph.D. Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends. GenusNeotoma (1)The Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) is a medium-sized North American rodent which superficially resembles the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) in appearance (5).
The tail of the Allegheny woodrat is moderately hairy and distinctly bi-coloured, being dark above and white below (2) (4) (5). This species was previous considered to be a subspecies of the Key Largo or eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana), but has since been separated on the basis of differences in its skull and its genetics (1) (2) (3) (4) (6). Allegheny woodrat biologyLike other woodrats, the Allegheny woodrat builds a large a€?housea€™ or nest from sticks, leaves, roots and other materials. The Allegheny woodrat also constructs large piles of sticks and debris, known as a€?middensa€™, near to the nest. This nocturnal rodent is active year-round (5) (6), but may not move as far from its rocky habitats in late autumn and winter, when food is more scarce (4). The Allegheny woodrat is largely solitary, territorial, and intolerant of other individuals, with fights being common (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).
The breeding season of the Allegheny woodrat varies with location, but young are commonly born from early spring to late summer, between March and October (4) (5). Allegheny woodrat rangeSometimes known as the Appalachian woodrat, the Allegheny woodrat once occurred through the Appalachian Mountains in the United States, from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, south to northern Alabama and North Carolina, and west to Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Allegheny woodrat habitatThe Allegheny woodrat is associated with rocky areas such as cliffs, rocky outcrops, caves, rock crevices, boulder fields and talus slopes (sloping masses of loose rock at the base of cliffs) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5). Allegheny woodrat threatsThe Allegheny woodrat has declined across much of its range, particularly in the north (2) (3) (5) (6), although populations in the south are believed to be more stable (1). Habitat loss in the form of deforestation not only decreases the Allegheny woodrata€™s food supplies, but also makes it more difficult for the species to travel between the rocky areas it requires for nest sites (1) (5).
Another major threat to the Allegheny woodrat is infection by the raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis), a parasite transmitted by racoons that is often fatal to woodrats (1) (3) (5) (7) (11). Further threats to the Allegheny woodrat may come from mining, human disturbance in caves, and severe winter weather, which could potentially be compounded by the effects of climate change (1) (7). Allegheny woodrat conservationThe Allegheny woodrat occurs in a number of protected areas, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, and the Deam Nature Preserve, in Indiana (1).

Further conservation measures recommended for this North American rodent include monitoring its populations and continuing research into the causes of its decline (1) (5) (7). AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. Dusky-footed Woodrat is a 'pest' (an unwanted organism) that can be controlled through the use of pesticides.
Dusky-footed Woodrats are most abundant in early seral stages, when hardwoods were present and in riparian areas. M A T O C Q*Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and Department of Integrative Biology, 3101 Valley Life Sciences Building, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720 A‚A­3160, USA Abstract The dusky-footed woodrat, Neotoma fuscipes, is a medium-sized rodent that inhabits lowelevation woodland habitats along the Pacific coast of North America from Oregon,throughout California and into Baja California.
The Dusky-footed Woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes) is a medium-sized woodrat, grayish brown with a pale underside. The Dusky-footed Woodrat is found statewide in California (except in the desert regions and High Sierra) and in the northwestern region of the Baja California peninsula. The dusky-footed woodrat, Neotoma fuscipes, is the primary reservoir for Lyme disease in California, Oregon, and Washington. ABSTRACT- The dusky-footed woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes) is found in a variety of habitats from Baja California to the Columbia River in Oregon and west from the Sierra Nevada to the Pacific Coast. ABSTRACT- The dusky-footed woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes) is an important prey species of the California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis), a species of concern in California.
Dusky-footed woodrats are undoubtedly an important contributor to the richness and abundance of the wildlife in California oak woodland. Endangered Status The Riparian Woodrat, a subspecies of the Dusky-footed Woodrat, is on the U. The diet of the Dusky-footed Woodrat is mostly green vegetation, but also includes fruit, nuts, seeds, and subterranean fungi. Until recently, the bushy-tailed wood rat was one of those creatures I had not discovered, though I was likely close to them on several occasions.
Most North Dakotans will probably never see a bushy-tailed wood rat, though you are probably familiar with them under their nickname, the "pack rat." They live only in western North Dakota, primarily the badlands, and they are usually active only at night. This small mammal species is found mostly in the western mountains from Alaska to Arizona and from the western parts of the Dakotas and Nebraska to the Pacific Coast. The house, sometimes referred to as a midden, protects the rat from weather and enemies and is the center of activity.
The wood rat is active year-round, feeding during winter on vegetation stored during the previous fall. Predation occurs mainly from coyotes, long-tailed weasels, bobcats and owls during the night when rats are most active. Bulging eyes and relatively large scoop-like ears aid the wood rat in its nocturnal habits. That’s not the case for Biology Department faculty member Joe Duchamp and the Allegheny woodrat. He recently received $38,770 from AK Environmental, LLC, to assist with his monitoring of the species.
The nocturnal rodents are seldom seen, living around jutting rock ledges and dunes of disintegrated sandstone near wooded areas. Widened roads, mining, and the development of homes and farms have hindered the rats’ ability to spread, resulting in unhealthy inbreeding. An important link in the ecosystem, woodrats are a food source for owls, and their travels between cave and forest promote the survival of other animals found only in caves. His interests span fragmentation and landscape ecology, population and community dynamics, urban-wildlife ecology, conservation biology, spatial ecology, applied statistics, assessing wildlife management tools, and simulation modeling.
Its upperparts are grey to brownish-grey, slightly lighter on the sides, and the underparts are white (2) (4) (5) (6).
The Allegheny woodrat can be distinguished from the brown rat and other Rattus species by its larger ears and more hairy, bi-coloured tail (2) (5).
The nest of this species is typically built in an inaccessible, well-protected rock crevice or on a ledge in a cave, and consists of an open cup, not unlike the nest of a bird (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).

The middens may be used to store food, but also commonly contain miscellaneous items such as bark, bones, feathers, animal dung and even human trash. In captivity, dominant individuals occupy and defend their own nest sites, but the subordinates may live in groups, avoiding the dominant animals (3) (4) (5). These areas are largely devoid of vegetation, but the Allegheny woodrat visits nearby forest of various types to feed (1) (4) (5). The reasons for this decline are unclear, but may be due to a combination of deforestation, habitat fragmentation, human disturbance, disease and climate change (1) (4) (5) (7). Its food supply may be further reduced by the infestation of oak trees by the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) (1) (5) (7), and its historical decline may also be linked to a decline in the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) (1) (4). The Allegheny woodrat may be particularly vulnerable to this parasite due to its habit of collecting animal faeces, including infected raccoon dung (1) (3) (11).
It is also afforded some protection simply by the inaccessible nature of its cliff and cave habitats, which are usually unsuitable for development (1) (5).
Owing to this partnership, lichens can thrive in harsh environments such as mountaintops and polar regions.
In such locations, wood rats will build large stick houses that may incorporate just about any object in the vicinity that they can carry - such things as bones, conifer cones, bits of rope, leather, hide, paper, shingles, wire, bottle caps, feathers and shotgun shell cases. It is also called "trade rat," referring to its habit of picking up a new object before the one they were carrying is stashed.
Because of this lifestyle and remoteness of their habitat, human interaction is quite limited.
By comparison, Norway rats average nine young in a litter and have as many as eight litters a year.
Although male and female Allegheny woodrats are similar in appearance, males are usually heavier (5). It is usually a fairly large structure, measuring up to 60 centimetres across, with an inner cavity about 12 centimetres across (1) (4).
The diet of the Allegheny woodrat includes a variety of leaves, seeds, fruits, ferns, fungi and lichens, with nuts such as acorns being particularly important (1) (3) (4) (5) (8). If kept at high densities, this species shows high levels of aggression (4), and dominant individuals have been known to kill or wound all other group members (9). The female Allegheny woodrat gives birth to a litter of around 1 to 4 pups (2) (4), after a gestation period of 30 to 38 days (4) (5). However, the surrounding forest habitats on which the Allegheny woodrat also depends need greater protection, as do its key food resources, such as oak stands (5) (8). In North Dakota's badlands, this means rocky outcroppings or cavernous sandstone formations including deep crevices, cracks and small caves.
Most often, rat droppings near the entrance of a den are the only evidence left for a trained eye in search of this species.
Its tendency to collect many different types of objects has earned this and other woodrats the nickname a€?packratsa€™ (2) (5) (6). Maintaining suitable habitat will also be important in allowing individuals to move between otherwise isolated populations (1). Since the species is solitary, the young disperse away from others and build their own houses or remodel those used by earlier generations. The Allegheny woodrat also leaves characteristic piles of droppings on ledges near its nest (3) (4). Predators of the Allegheny woodrat include owls, skunks, snakes, bobcats, foxes, weasels and hawks (1) (5). The Allegheny woodrat is fully furred by two weeks old and weaned by about four weeks (4) (5). Although this species can reach sexual maturity at around three to four months old (4), most individuals do not breed until the second year of life (5).

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