SMALL MAMMAL DISTRIBUTIONS ACROSS VEGETATION ISLANDS.
Francis X. Villablanca; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; 1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93407; (805) 756-2200; fvillabl@calpoly.edu; Juliana Trunzo, Stephanie Little, Juliana P. Trunzo
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA) is characterized by having vegetation islands separated by large areas of open sand. Small mammal populations exist on the majority of these islands, but the abundance and diversity of small mammals varies across them. Understanding small mammal populations at the ODSVRA is part of the Park's Habitat Monitoring System (HMS2) which has an explicit goal "to detect changes in species and/or communities overtime" by implementing strategies "to both detect changes in particular species and to evaluate ecological health."  Recently the ODSVRA has begun revegetating large areas of once open sand, thus creating new habitat and adjoining habitat islands (previously existing habitat). The addition of new habitat in the vicinity of existing vegetation islands allows study of the effect of increasing island size and decreasing isolation between islands. The data we present provide a baseline of abundance and distributions of small mammals at vegetation islands throughout the park, including islands that have been recently connected through revegetation, based on trapping monthly for one year. We see a pattern that small mammal diversity and island size are correlated which suggests that the adding of vegetation will increase diversity.
Ecology and Conservation of Mammals IV