Winter School - 2002
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Resembles a small muskrat, tail is round instead of flattened ... Mice, Rats, Voles, Muskrat - 15. Carnivores 10. Aquatic Seals, Whales 14. Hoofed - 1 ...

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2911 Winter School - 2002

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Mammals of georgia l.jpg
Mammals of Georgia

Michael T. Mengak, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Wildlife Specialist

Warnell School of Forest Resources

University of Georgia

Athens


Characteristics of mammals l.jpg
Characteristics of Mammals

  • Homoeothermic (warm-blooded) vertebrate

    • Mammary Glands

    • Hair

  • Other Characters

    • Lower Jaw – 1 pair of bones

    • Middle Ear – 3 bones

    • Teeth – in sockets; several types

    • Cervical Vertebrae – 7 (except sloth & manatee)

Winter School - 2002


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Distribution of Mammals

  • Evolved as four-legged terrestrial animals

  • Considered by some to be highest life-form on Earth

  • Found on every continent

  • Evolved during MESOZOIC ERA ~ 135 mya

    • Greatest evolution in CENOZOIC ERA ~ 70 mya

  • All forms of locomotion-(swim, run, hop, walk, fly, dig, glide)

Winter School - 2002


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Taxonomy

  • Kingdom – Animalia

  • Phylum – Chordata

  • Subphylum - Vertebrata

  • Class – Mammalia

  • Order-10 orders in GA

  • Family – 27 families in GA

  • Genus – last name; comes first

  • species – first name; come last

Winter School - 2002


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Georgia Mammal Species

  • Species – 94

    • Threatened ---------- 1

    • Rare ------------------ 2

    • Extirpated ----------- 3

    • Endangered ---------6

    • Introduced ----------8

    • Common ------------ 74 (game, Nongame, nuisance)

Winter School - 2002


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Ga. Mammals – ThreatenedRound-tailed Muskrat

  • Shallow freshwater marshes

  • Resembles a small muskrat, tail is round instead of flattened

  • Diet mainly aquatic grasses but stems, roots, and seeds are also eaten

  • Predators - herons, owls, hawks, snakes, and bobcats

  • Range - extreme southeastern corner of Georgia –endemic or native

Winter School - 2002


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Round-tailed Muskrat

Winter School - 2002


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Ga. Mammals – Rare – Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat

  • Very long ears, over 1 inch

  • Roosts in buildings, old mine shafts, wells, caves, hollow trees, areas behind loose bark, and crevices in rock ledges.

  • Becomes active only in complete darkness.

  • Feeds on flying insects.

  • Statewide

  • One of the least known bats

Winter School - 2002


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Ga. Mammals – RareAppalachian Cottontail

  • Occurs in high elevation S. App. Mountains

  • Found in dense conifers and deciduous cover

  • Also in 6-7 yr old clearcuts

  • Red spruce

  • Occurrence in GA is suspected

  • Back has black wash

  • Front edge of ears are black trimmed

Winter School - 2002


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Ga. Mammals – ExtirpatedRed Wolf

  • 40-80 pounds

  • Family groups – not packs

  • Feed on rodents and small mammals

  • Reintroduced to Alligator R. NWR and GSMNP (failed)

Winter School - 2002


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Ga. Mammals – ExtirpatedGray Wolf

  • Up to 150 pounds

  • Packs

  • Deer, Moose

  • Isolated in e.US

  • Reintroductions in west

Winter School - 2002


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Red Wolf vs. Gray Wolf

Winter School - 2002


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Ga. Mammals – ExtirpatedBison

  • Largest land mammal in N.Am.

  • 12 feet long

  • 2200 pounds

  • Great herds

  • Renewed interest for food

Winter School - 2002


Georgia mammals l.jpg
Georgia Mammals

Endangered – legal designation

- ESA (1973)

- numbers sufficiently reduced to place species in danger of extinction

- no set number; can be a portion of the species (population)


Endangered l.jpg
Endangered

  • Mountain Lion

  • Manatee

  • Humpback Whale

  • Black Right Whale

  • Gray Bat

  • Indiana Bat

Winter School - 2002


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Endangered - Mountain Lion

  • Largest cat in N. Am.

  • Not known to occur in Ga.

    • Individuals may be seen in Okefenokee and Blue Ridge – probably released pets

  • Diet – deer, wild pigs, rabbits

  • Solitary w/ large HR

Winter School - 2002


Endangered manatee l.jpg
Endangered - Manatee

  • Migrant to GA coastal waters in summer.

  • Lives 40-50 years

  • Vegetarian

  • Prey for sharks and alligators (young manatee)

  • Up to 2,500 lbs

Winter School - 2002


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Endangered - Humpback Whale

  • Up to 53’ long

  • Migrate along coast

  • Sing

  • Family groups

Winter School - 2002


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Endangered - Black Right Whale

  • Black, up to 57’

  • Young born off GA-FL state line on N-S migration route

  • Baleen, feed on plankton

  • Inshore water, easily hunted

  • Migrate north Jan-Mar.

Winter School - 2002


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Endangered Gray Bat (Gray Myotis)

  • Myotis mean “mouse ear”

  • Insect eater

  • Migrant – up to 300 mi to hibernacula

  • Hibernate in cave, mine

  • Roost in trees

Winter School - 2002


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Endangered - Indiana Bat

  • Myotis

  • Insect eater, cave hibernator, tree roost

  • Slow reproduction

  • Can live up to 20 years

  • Large concentrations in hibernation

  • 6 caves hold 80% of pop’n in winter.

Winter School - 2002


Indiana bat gray bat l.jpg
Indiana Bat – Gray Bat

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Georgia Mammals

INTRODUCED


Introduced l.jpg
Introduced

  • Nine-banded Armadillo

  • Black Rat

  • Norway Rat

  • House Mouse

  • Nutria

  • Red Fox

  • Wild Boar

  • Fallow Deer

Winter School - 2002


Armadillo l.jpg
Armadillo

  • Named by Aztec Indians in Mexico

  • Delayed fertilization

    • Breed in July/August; birth in April

  • Litter usually 4 & same sex

    • Eyes open; mobile in a few hours

  • Nocturnal

  • Few Predators

  • Dig burrows used by other animals

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Rats and Mice

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Nutria l.jpg
Nutria

Winter School - 2002


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Nutria

  • Up to 3 feet long; 35 pounds

  • Breeds year round; 2 litters/yr; 4-8 per litter

  • Native of S. Am.; CA in 1899; LA in 1939

  • Fur bearer – can tolerate salt water

    • Eats aquatic weeds; tunnels up to 4 ft. long

    • Undermine banks and dikes

Winter School - 2002


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Red Fox

  • N. Am. red is Vulpes fulva; European red is Vulpes vulpes.

    • Introduced in early 20th century.

    • Probably caused extinction of native red fox

  • Monogamous; breed in Jan/Feb.; male feeds also

  • Mixed P/H; edges; bottomland; fields.

  • Diurnal in winter; eats mice, eggs, birds.

  • Hunt/Trap in Dec. to Feb.

Winter School - 2002


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Wild Pig – Wild Boar – Feral Hog

  • 5 ft long; 3 ft tall; 400 lbs.

  • Wild Pig=Wild Hog=Feral Pig=European Boar

  • European Boar introduced to NC from Russia on hunting preserve in 1920’s?

  • Wild pigs in US since 1530’s; domestic but free range;

  • Destructive – ground nests, longleaf

  • Sport, turn soil, destroy ground vegetation

Winter School - 2002


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Fallow Deer

  • Native of Mediterranean region

  • Guided hunts in Australia

  • Bounces; barks like dog

  • Groups up to 150 animals

  • Ht – 3 ft; Wt – 175 lbs

  • Raised on farms in NY,TX,FL,WI

  • ND ext. website on deer farming

  • Imported for restaurant venison

  • Eastern shore of VA

Winter School - 2002


Georgia mammals common 74 species l.jpg
Georgia Mammals – Common74 Species

  • Marsupial – 1

  • Insectivores - 9

    • Shrews (7)

    • Moles (2)

  • Bats – 13

  • Rabbits – 3

Winter School - 2002


Georgia mammals common continued l.jpg
Georgia Mammals – Commoncontinued

  • Rodents

    • Squirrel & Chipmunks – 6

    • Pocket Gopher – 1

    • Beaver – 1

    • Mice, Rats, Voles, Muskrat - 15

  • Carnivores – 10

  • Aquatic – Seals, Whales – 14

  • Hoofed - 1

Winter School - 2002


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