Thursday, October 25, 2012

Studying the Allegheny Woodrat: A Video

There are dozens of non-game mammal species found in New Jersey. (There are also six whale species which occur off the state's coast, all of which are listed as both state and federally endangered.) Of these, there are three land mammal species listed as "endangered": the bobcat, Indiana bat and Allegheny Woodrat.

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has posted a link to a video featuring the Division's Endangered and Nongame Species Program's research on the Allegheny woodrat. The population being studied, found in the boulder talus along the base of the Palisades on the Hudson River, is the only one remaining in the state and numbers fewer than 100 individuals,

A video, by award-winning videographer Andre Malok, is found on the NJ.Com website.

                Studying the Allegheny Woodrat - video

Although classified as a rat, the Allegheny woodrat has none of the negative characteristics of its other rodent cousins. This small mammal poses no threat to human health or safety. It's found in just one remaining area in New Jersey, within the gigantic crevice filled boulder fields beneath the cliffs of the Palisades in Bergen County. Principal zoologist Mick Valent, from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP), along with a small team of volunteers, are trapping woodrats to help study and understand the population decline which is estimated at fewer than 100 animals. The decline has caused concern about the species'€™ future, prompting a close look at the possible causes.
NJDEP  Allegheny Woodrat Fact Sheet (pdf, 59kb)

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