Date of Award

Summer 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Robert K. Rose

Committee Member

Frank P. Day, Jr.

Committee Member

Gerald Levy

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 W329


The diversity and density of small mammals in the Dismal Swamp are believed to be small. To test this, four 1.96 ha grids were established and operated in the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, from September 1981 to November 1982. Number 10 metal cans covered with plastic lids were placed as nest boxes at 0.5 to 1.5 m height on trees. A 2.5 cm hole allowed access by arboreal rodents, to each nest can. The activity level of the two arboreal rodents, Peromyscus leucopus and Ochrotomys nuttalli, was evaluated by observing types of activity ranging from presence of mice to feces only.

Both flooding and the amount and quality of the food source present tend to determine the activity of granivorous rodents. Long-term flooding, probably acting indirectly by reducing access to or availability of food, seemed to be important in determining the activity level. Once arboreal rodents became acclimated to nest boxes, the continued addition of supplemental food and bedding was not necessary. Flooding caused no significant effect in the activity levels observed in nest cans on large diameter trees (dbh≥31 cm), but a significant detrimental effect was detected on smaller trees (dbh<31 >cm).


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).