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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

A STUDY OF MAMMAL DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE IN RURAL, SUBURBAN, AND URBAN TEMPERATE FORESTS LOCATED IN NORTHERN GEORGIA USING MULTIPLE TYPES OF SCENT LURES AND TRAIL CAMERAS**

Abstract

Human settlements and man-made structures have depleted the native wildlife habitat in Georgia, leaving limited forested habitat available for the state’s wildlife. The objective of this study was to investigate and measure mammal diversity and abundance among wildlife found in forests located within urban, suburban, and rural state and county parks or private reserves. Nine locations (3 rural, 3 suburban, and 3 rural) were selected for the study. At each site, we placed nine “DLC Convert II” digital, infra-red trail cameras and nine lures, and we pointed each camera toward a separate lure. The nine lures placed each held one of three different lure types (three replicates of each lure type at each site). A variety of species were captured on film by the cameras including: whitetail deer, opossum, squirrel, rabbit, grey and red fox, raccoon, coyote, bear, and bobcat. The urban and suburban sites had greater mammalian abundance and diversity than rural sites. This could be for two reasons. One reason: the urban and suburban sites were more size restricted due to human encroachment, perhaps inadvertently causing more incident to occur in front of the camera. The other reason: an easier meal can often be had in places where there is human activity. This study illustrates that both urban and rural forested areas and suburban parks are a valuable resource in conserving wild mammal diversity and abundance and should be protected from development.

Acknowledgements

GGC Dept. of Biology

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