Journal of Science.
2002. Vol 53 (3) : 167-170
Record For A Wild Allegheny Woodrat (Neotoma
magister) In West Virginia
Michael T. Mengak and Steven B. Castleberry, Warnell School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, W. Mark Ford, USDA Forest Service, Timber-Watershed Lab, Nursery Bottom, P.O. Box 404, Parsons, WV 26287, Nikki L. Castleberry, Mantech, Inc., 565 Research Drive, Suite D, Athens, GA 30605 and Jane L. Rodrigue, USDA Forest Service, Timber-Watershed Lab, Nursery Bottom, P.O. Box 404, Parsons, WV 26287
ABSTRACTThe Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) is found throughout much of the central and southern Appalachians and adjacent portions of the Interior Highlands. Allegheny woodrats have declined in the northern portions of their range and are state-listed as threatened, endangered or sensitive species of concern in every state where they occur. Until recently, biologists have had to rely on biological data collected from the closely related eastern woodrat (N. floridana) because of limited research on the Allegheny woodrat. We have been studying the ecology and natural history of woodrats in Virginia and West Virginia since 1990. On 8 August 1997 we caught and ear-tagged a juvenile female woodrat. She was caught a total of 24 times in the same outcrop from 1997 through 2002. A conservative estimate of her age on 25 January 2002 was 1,734 days or 57.8 months. This extends the record longevity for a wild Allegheny woodrat by 70 days or 2.3 months. Regardless, her known time alive (from first capture to last) of 1,630 days still surpasses previous estimates of longevity for the Allegheny woodrat