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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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mammals of georgia

Mammals of Georgia

Michael T. Mengak, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Wildlife Specialist

Warnell School of Forest Resources

University of Georgia

Athens

characteristics of mammals
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

distribution of mammals
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

taxonomy
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

georgia mammal species
Georgia Mammal Species
  • Species – 94
    • Threatened ---------- 1
    • Rare ------------------ 2
    • Extirpated ----------- 3
    • Endangered --------- 6
    • Introduced ---------- 8
    • Common ------------ 74 (game, Nongame, nuisance)

Winter School - 2002

ga mammals threatened round tailed muskrat
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

round tailed muskrat
Round-tailed Muskrat

Winter School - 2002

ga mammals rare rafinesque s big eared bat
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

ga mammals rare appalachian cottontail
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

ga mammals extirpated red wolf
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

ga mammals extirpated gray wolf
Ga. Mammals – ExtirpatedGray Wolf
  • Up to 150 pounds
  • Packs
  • Deer, Moose
  • Isolated in e.US
  • Reintroductions in west

Winter School - 2002

red wolf vs gray wolf
Red Wolf vs. Gray Wolf

Winter School - 2002

ga mammals extirpated bison
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

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
Endangered
  • Mountain Lion
  • Manatee
  • Humpback Whale
  • Black Right Whale
  • Gray Bat
  • Indiana Bat

Winter School - 2002

endangered mountain lion
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
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

endangered humpback whale
Endangered - Humpback Whale
  • Up to 53’ long
  • Migrate along coast
  • Sing
  • Family groups

Winter School - 2002

endangered black right whale
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

endangered gray bat gray myotis
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

endangered indiana bat
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
Indiana Bat – Gray Bat

Winter School - 2002

georgia mammals24

Georgia Mammals

INTRODUCED

introduced
Introduced
  • Nine-banded Armadillo
  • Black Rat
  • Norway Rat
  • House Mouse
  • Nutria
  • Red Fox
  • Wild Boar
  • Fallow Deer

Winter School - 2002

armadillo
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

Winter School - 2002

rats and mice
Rats and Mice

Winter School - 2002

nutria
Nutria

Winter School - 2002

nutria29
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

red fox
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

wild pig wild boar feral hog
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

fallow deer
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
Georgia Mammals – Common74 Species
  • Marsupial – 1
  • Insectivores - 9
    • Shrews (7)
    • Moles (2)
  • Bats – 13
  • Rabbits – 3

Winter School - 2002

georgia mammals common continued
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