Using Non-Invasive Methods to Sample Mammalian Species in a Post Fire Landscape
AdvisorKoprowski, John L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWildfires are a key process in many ecosystems worldwide. However, the intensity and severity of wildfire events has increased in recent years due to factors such as anthropogenic fire suppression and more arid conditions created by climate change. The high elevation forests of the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California are one such ecosystem that has experienced several fire events in recent years. These forests are important habitats for a number of mammalian species. I used two non-invasive methods, camera trapping and hair tube sampling, to survey mammalian species in a recently burned area. I detected 14 species including an isolated subspecies of Humboldt’s flying squirrel (Glaucomys oregonensis), the San Bernardino flying squirrel (G. oregonensis californicus). Our study showed that landscape use by large bodied and generalist species was not drastically impacted by this fire. Of the nine most commonly detected species all were detected across all burn severities but were detected more often at lower burn severities. Occupancy modeling for the forest specialist, the San Bernardino flying squirrel, showed that they can persist in burned areas if key habitat features such as an intact forest canopy and large live trees are retained. My study illustrates the ability of mammalian species to persist in fire affected areas especially when patches of forest remain intact.
Degree ProgramGraduate College