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Small Mammal Survey Wraps Up

A small mammal survey of the Las Vegas Wash has completed its initial phase of collecting data. The survey begin in August 2009.

Approximately 587 small mammals and 11 species were captured for this study. The data is now being analyzed and a final report will be released later this year.

Until recently, the only known surveys of small mammals at the Wash were by Glen Bradley and Wesley E. Niles in the 1970s and by University of Nevada, Las Vegas students from 2002 to 2003. Small mammals weigh less than a pound and are most active at night when people are not at the Wash, making it hard to observe the different species unless an organized study is conducted.

Small mammal study at the Wash comes to a close

Recommended in the Las Vegas Wash Comprehensive Adaptive Management Plan and Wildlife Management Plan, the small mammal study has yielded baseline inventories, establishing the abundance and diversity of small mammals in wetland habitats. The study conducted by UNLV revealed some, but not all of the animals, because they did not have survey sites in the woodland-marsh areas of the Wash. Since Bradley and Niles listed species that were not found by UNLV it was determined that a small mammal marsh survey was necessary to compliment the most recent inventory.

In the first round of the survey, the western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis), the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) and the white-tailed antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilus leucurus) were all identified. These three animals were listed by Bradley and Niles but were not seen by UNLV.

It is exciting to realize that animals that were here in the 1970s are still using the Wash as their home today.

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Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Team • 100 City Parkway, Suite 700 • Las Vegas, NV 89106 • (702) 822-3300