Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Study sites were established at Rob and Bessie Welder Refuge and Encino Division of the King Ranch in south Texas to monitor the impact of Short-duration cell grazing (SDG) and Continuous grazing on small mammal and cottontail rabbit populations. Small mammals were live trapped (With occasional snap trapping) and cottontails were spotlighted. Vertical and horizontal components of vegetative structure were measured in terms of percent cover. There was paucity of rodents on the Welder Refuge – 8 captures for 9705 trap nights. In 1984 127 cottontails/km) and in 1985-1986 64 cottontails were seen along 436.8 km of road transects (.14 cottontails/km). Small mammal and cottontail numbers were small to measure the impact of grazing treatments on small mammals and cottontails. At the Encino study site a total of 9,600 trap nights yielded 1211 unique captures of small mammals in 1985-1986. Nine species of small mammals were captured. There was a significant difference (p<.05) between grazing treatments and most of the small mammal species were capture in greater numbers in SDG treatment. There was no observed deleterious impact due to Short-duration grazing on small mammals, cottontails and vegetative cover on the Welder Refuge, and the Short-duration grazing treatment appeared to positively impact rodents and vegetation at the Encino study site.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Grazing -- Texas
Rabbits -- Texas -- Effect of habitat modification on
Rodents -- Texas -- Effect on habitat modification on


Includes bibliographical references (pages 53-59)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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