Habitat use by opossums in an urban environment Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5t34sp66w

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  • Habitat availability and use by an urban population of opossums were studied with radio telemetry in Corvallis, Oregon in 1981 and 1982. For non-den observations, residential neighborhood types were used about in the proportion available, agricultural/park/riverfront neighborhood types were used in higher proportion than available, and commercial/industrial neighborhood types were used in lower proportion than available. Surface types were also used in proportions different than available within home ranges. Structures and paved surfaces were used less than available, while unpaved surfaces were used in greater proportion than available. Dens were primarily located in man-made structures (76%) and in residential neighborhood types (79%). Unpaved surfaces accounted for 24% of dens, and no dens were found on paved surfaces. Home ranges were more stable and smaller than those reported in rural environments (means; male = 32.36 ha, female = 9.01 ha). Distances moved per night were also shorter than previously reported. Year-round availability of food, abundant den sites, and relative freedom from competitors and predators were proposed as reasons for the stable, small home ranges and success of opossums in an urban habitat.
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