WHEN THE FISHER'S AWAY, THE MICE WILL PLAY: THE EFFECTS OF MIXED-SEVERITY WILDFIRE ON SMALL MAMMAL OCCUPANCY IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND SOUTHERN OREGON.
Christopher A. Sirakowski; Portland State University; 1825 SW Broadway, Portland , OR, 97201; (512) 225-4406; sir3@pdx.edu; David S. Green, Sean M. Matthews
Wildfires play a major role in the structure and composition of landscapes and the general ecology of the Pacific Northwest. The Klamath-Siskiyou eco-region in northern California and southern Oregon has been experiencing an increase in the frequency, scale, and intensity of wildfires in recent years. Understanding the effects of wildfires on small mammal communities is an important, yet understudied, aspect of the response of wildlife to wildfires. Two wildfires burned areas on and adjacent to a long-term study area of wildlife in 2014. We will investigate the effects of these wildfires on the occupancy of small mammals such as Neotoma fuscipes, Glaucomys sabrinus, and Tamias spp. using occupancy analyses of data collected during fall field seasons using track plate stations. The longitudinal data set that we have includes years of data before the fires occurred, allowing us to disentangle any effects of the wildfires from any naturally occurring variation. This research is important in determining what lasting effects these increases in wildfire frequency are going to have on predator-prey dynamics. 
Poster Session   Student Paper