An evaluation of habitat selection and an abundance estimate for the endangered Key Largo Woodrat
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The Key Largo woodrat (KLWR; Neotoma floridana smalli) is an endangered species endemic to the island of Key Largo. Despite protection of its remaining habitat from development, the population continued to decline over the last 20 years. Information on KLWR habitat preferences required to effectively manage the population is lacking, as is a means to monitor abundance. The objectives of this study were to examine habitat selection by KLWR at two spatial scales, the macro and micro-scales, and identify an efficient sampling design that can be used to monitor this rare population. Results of habitat and nest site selection suggest KLWR is limited by the availability of quality nest habitat and would benefit from the addition of artificial nest substrate and the continued protection of the forested uplands of Key Largo. Stratified random sampling was the most effective design and can be used to monitor the status of KLWR.
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