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Senior thesis of Hedrick Strickland (Duke University class of 2006)


The Eno River, located in Durham and Orange Counties, hosts a wide variety of plants and wildlife due in part to its diversity of habitat types. In addition to ecologically complex aquatic habitats, the river is surrounded by large tracks of hardwood forests, an increasingly rare habitat type in the Piedmont area. The river is also an important corridor used by animals moving between the park and other protected habitats, such as Falls of the Neuse Game Land and Camp Butner.

My research is the first to estimate the diversity and abundance of nonvolant small mammals within the Eno River State Park. This information is an essential first step in understanding population dynamics, population demographics, and the structure of ecological communities. I will estimate species abundance and richness using live traps, including box traps and pitfall traps with drift fences. I will also examine the relationship between species abundance and habitat type. These results will not only provide the first small mammal inventory within the Eno River State Park, but will also be the foundation for additional ecological research relating to habitat use by small mammals.

White-footed mouse