Threatened Allegheny woodrats are disappearing from areas in Pennsylvania, in accordance with state officers with the Pennsylvania Sport Fee. In 2017 in Clinton County, the fee deployed 13 path cameras to substantiate the presence of Allegheny woodrats (Neotoma magister) which can be listed as threatened by beneath the Pennsylvania Sport and Wildlife Code. They adopted that up with reside trapping. However lower than a yr later in 2019, follow-up surveys turned up no rats. Whereas the researchers nonetheless aren’t positive why the species disappeared in that space, it’s doable that roads and different human constructions blocked their motion. The lack of chestnut bushes to blight may additionally have affected the rats that partially depend upon chestnuts. Woodrats make their nests on rocky cliff sides, the place researchers discovered that the rats gather numerous unusual objects like sweet wrappers and shotgun shells together with meals. In addition they gather raccoon (Procyon lotor) scat, which may include raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) eggs that may be deadly to the rats. Giazzon is at the moment working with colleagues to see if these roundworms are current within the areas the place the rats disappeared from in Clinton County.
Watch this video on the woodrats narrated by Mario Giazzon, a wildlife range biologist with the Fee.