Allegheny Woodrat Surveys
Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. is a leading provider of Allegheny woodrat habitat survey and radio telemetry fieldwork.
Recognized as an Allegheny woodrat specialist in Pennsylvania, BCM has completed woodrat habitat surveys and radio telemetry projects across the state supporting developments such as wind facilities, gas pipelines, transmission lines, timber sales, mining, and highway construction.
Please contact John Chenger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 442-4246 to discuss your project and timelines.
About the Woodrat
The presence of Allegheny woodrats is most often determined by characteristic toilet areas. Toilet areas can be found on flat rocks under small overhangs and consist of scat pellets larger than mouse droppings and smaller than porcupine pellets. Dry, gray dusty pellets represent old, possibly inactive toilet areas while moist, black pellets indicate recent woodrat activity. Surveyors may also find piles of fresh herbaceous vegetation stored under rock overhangs. Woodrats eat food on-site for most of the summer, but in fall they cache food in protective crevices.
The diet of Allegheny woodrats consists almost exclusively of vegetable matter that provides both food and water. They feed on green vegetation, acorns, fruits, nuts, fungi, ferns, seeds, berries, leaves, green briar, and hackberry. Many of these items may be garnered by the rats well above ground, which indicates that some of their foraging is done in the crowns of the trees and shrubs. A typical food cache in Pennsylvania will contain ferns that have been deliberately folded into an accordion shape for easy transport.
Less frequently surveyors may find a woodrat hutch. When built in a cave, the hutch may be open at the top. The hutches are well constructed, moderating temperature extremes. There is one woodrat per hutch, with the houses distributed over the available habitat; this tends to spread out the rats, reducing competition.
The home range is rather limited; the animals usually stay close to the home den. Studies suggest that 85-meters is an exceptional distance for them to travel during their foraging activities. Also, they are more or less colonial to the extent that several rats will establish themselves in a relatively restricted locality. In one instance 35 to 50 woodrats lived in a 180-meter distance along a favorable gully in the western US.
Reasons for Listing