Ecology of the southeastern pocket gopher (Geomys pinetis) in southwestern Georgia
Warren, Ashley Erin
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From September 2012 through December 2013 I used telemetry to investigate home range, survival, and movement patterns of southeastern pocket gophers (Geomys pinetis) in Southwestern Georgia. I also used a modeling approach to determine whether vegetation or soil characteristics best predicted gopher presence and developed a predictive model using combinations of vegetation and soil variables. Mean home range size of 17 gophers was 921.9 m2 (range = 43.4-2246.8 m2). Home range size was positively associated with body mass, percent silt, and soil carbon, and negatively associated with percent sand, percent clay, and grass ground cover. Two individuals were predated and survival rate was 0.78 over 51 weeks. Three individuals dispersed, with maximum dispersal distance of 319.1 m (range = 143.2-319.1 m). Pocket gophers exhibited greater activity at 00:00-4:00 and 16:00-20:00. Soil predicted presence better than vegetation, and the best predictive model combined percent clay, percent silt, pH, nitrogen, and carbon.