Interim report on small mammal populations and related tree damage in the AOSERP study area, October and November 1977

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  • The afforestation program in the Athabasca Oil Sands area has been only moderately successful, because of the high mortality of the planted seedlings--much of which Is believed to be the result of high levels of small mammal damage. The objectives of the present study were: (1) to determine the species composition and densities of small mammals and the levels of small mammal damage to saplings in revegetation research areas, in naturally revegetating areas, and in woodland habitats and (2) to determine whether the species composition and density of small mammals on the revegetation plots differed between untreated plots and those treated with a rodenticide. However, because of the failure to obtain timely lease access to the revegetation research plots and the naturally revegetating areas, only the two woodland habitat study areas could be established. Two three-day small mammal trapping periods were conducted on each woodland study area. Surveys of the species composition and density of ground cover and saplings, and of the levels of small mammal damage to saplings were completed on both woodland study areas. The results of the small mammal trapping program and the survey of small mammal damage to saplings are presented.

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