MEASURING THE REGIONAL IMPACTS OF PINYON AND JUNIPER REMOVAL ON BAT AND SMALL MAMMAL COMMUNITIES IN THE NORTHERN GREAT BASIN.
Danielle Miles; University of Nevada, Reno; 1664 N Virginia, Reno, NV, 89557; (727) 422-9092; Daniellecmiles@nevada.unr.edu; Kevin T. Shoemaker
Across the northern Great Basin, many land stewardship agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are clearing large tracts of pinyon and juniper woodlands (PJ) to restore habitat for the greater sage-grouse and other sagebrush-dependent species. We are using these conifer removal projects as experimental replicates for investigating the effects of conifer removal on bats, small mammals, and other "non-target" wildlife communities. Bat populations can be extremely sensitive to alterations in vegetation structure and may depend on PJ woodlands for foraging and roosting. In contrast, terrestrial small mammal species tend to have much smaller home ranges, and some species are suspected to be sagebrush-dependent. We are monitoring these wildlife communities seasonally at 15 fixed transects distributed across five regions of northern Nevada in a "before-after-control-impact" study design. Here we report preliminary results from two years of field data, including (1) baseline information about the under-studied bat and small mammal communities of the region prior to PJ removal, (2) preliminary information on the habitat associations for the dominant members of these communities, and (3) information about treatment effects in transects where PJ was removed before 2016.
Poster Session   Student Paper