Effects of cutting Ashe juniper woodlands on small mammal populations in the Texas hill country (USA)

  • Published source details Schnepf K.A., Heselmeyer J.A. & Ribble D.O. (1998) Effects of cutting Ashe juniper woodlands on small mammal populations in the Texas hill country (USA). Natural Areas Journal, 18, 333-337.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove trees and shrubs to recreate open areas of land

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Remove trees and shrubs to recreate open areas of land

    A controlled study in 1995–1997 at a former savanna in Texas, USA (Schnepf et al. 1998) found that where Ashe juniper Juniperus ashei trees were removed, there were higher abundances of three rodent species. Results were not tested for statistical significance. There were more white-ankled mice Peromyscus pectoralis in areas where Ashe juniper were cut (96 mice caught) than in areas where no trees were cut (10 caught). The same pattern was true for white-footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus (cut: 22 mice caught; uncut: 1 mouse) and for hispid cotton rat Sigmidon hispidus (cut: 4 rats caught; uncut: 0 rats). In 1995–1996, Ashe juniper in three areas was cut with a chainsaw. In two further areas, no trees were cut. In all areas, native oak trees Quercus spp. were left uncut. In October 1995–May 1996, once a month, 20 traps baited with oats were laid along a 100-m-long transect in one cut area and similarly in two areas that had not been cut. In October 1996 to March 1997, three to four times each month, three cut areas and two uncut areas were monitored in the same way. Traps were set in the morning and checked at dawn. Animals caught were ear-tagged to enable identification of recaptures.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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