The Allegheny Woodrat is listed as threatened or endangered throughout much of its range. The cause of its decline has been attributed primarily to habitat fragmentation and increased exposure to parasites such as raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris). In Pennsylvania, woodrat habitat is associated with rocky cliffs, boulder piles, and talus slopes. Habitat loss from land development pressure continues to pose a significant threat to Allegheny Woodrat populations. As a result, regulatory agencies now require surveys where development projects are likely to present a significant impact on habitat within the woodrat’s geographic range.
- Agency Negotiation and Communication: Our staff is recognized by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) as experts in all aspects of woodrat biology and management.
- Habitat Assessments: Our staff is qualified to identify sites within project areas that are likely to support Allegheny Woodrat populations. These areas are often associated with rocky cliffs, boulder piles, and talus slopes.
- Surveys for Woodrat Sign and Activity Centers: Once Allegheny Woodrat habitat is located, our staff is qualified to survey the area for woodrat sign and activity centers such as food caches, latrines, and den sites.
- Habitat Enhancement/Mitigation: Our staff is experienced in both design and implementation of Allegheny Woodrat habitat mitigation/enhancement plans.
- Live-Trapping Surveys: Our staff is experienced in conducting live-trapping surveys to determine the presence of woodrats on the project site and to estimate local population numbers.
- Trail Camera Surveys: Our staff has developed this new use of technology to reduce the costs and disturbance of surveying for the presence of woodrats at potential habitat sites.
- Aerial Habitat Surveys: Our staff has helped pioneer the use of helicopters integrated with GIS to map potential woodrat habitat across large project areas such as seismic surveys of State Forests.
- Comprehensive Reporting: Our reports contain all necessary information required by the regulatory agencies to evaluate a project. Specifically, we provide detailed site descriptions, high quality maps, photographs, and all required data collected at each site.