Thesis Defense Announcement

College of Arts and Sciences announces the Final Thesis Defense of

Jessica Davin

for the Degree of Master of Arts
November 05, 2019 at 10:00 AM in Ellington Hall

Advisor: Michael Kennedy

Activity Patterns of the Eastern Woodrat (Neotoma floridana illinoensis) in western Tennessee

ABSTRACT: Activity patterns of the eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana illinoensis) in southwestern Tennessee (Shelby Co.) were investigated at the Edward J. Meeman Biological Station. Patterns were captured using infra-red triggered cameras at bait stations at 3 different sites over a period of 2 years. Photographs were examined to determine periods of activity and to observe different feeding strategies (solitary, aggressive, and non-aggressive). Analyses of data indicated that eastern woodrats were primarily nocturnal. The eastern woodrats showed the greatest seasonal activity during the fall and approximately equal activity during summer, spring, and winter months. Analyses of the data indicated they were solitary and agonistic towards conspecifics and revealed that solitary activity was more utilized than feeding aggressively in a group and non-aggressive group feeding. Such data relating to the ecology and behavior of eastern woodrats can help build monitoring programs for the species, which will be useful in sustaining the taxa long-term.