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Marcus Webster


This wilderness quarry area is in the process of being converted for public use by Stearns Co., and is an ideal area for ecological surveys. I assessed the small mammal distributions in the variety of habitat types within the park, from June to August 1994. The habitats included: grasslands, Oak, Aspen, and Red Pine forests, wetlands, rock tailing piles, natural rock outcroppings, and water-filled quarries. I conducted this survey using Sherman Live traps, scat boards, and pit traps. The grassland consisted exclusively of Microtus pennsylvanicus, except for a single Sorex cinereus. Peromyscus leucopis dominated in the forests within the park. They also had very high populations in the rock tailing piles, showing the importance of shelter in habitat selection. Other species that were found included: Blarina brevicauda, in the wetlands, and Tamius striatus and Clethrionomys gapperi in the forests. Each species appeared to be very habitat specific, and were never observed to venture outside of their respective habitats. The main danger to these populations in the upcoming development of the area will be the destruction of their habitat. The results from this survey will provide insight for park officials when devising a method of management for this park.

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