Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Wetland Mammals Reign at Squaw Creek NWR
Midwest Region, December 27, 2006
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The annual muskrat house count and beaver lodge survey was completed by Refuge Biologist Frank Durbian, December 27, with a surprising number of wetland mammal homes counted.  A total of 11 beaver lodges were counted including 4 in the moist soil units.  These beaver caused the most problem by plugging water control structures when water is being manipulated in these shallow units.

A total of 2,518 muskrat houses were counted with the largest number, 926, in the 600 acre Pelican Pool.  There were 770 houses in the 900 acre Eagle Pool.  However, the largest concentration per acre occurred in the 200 acre Pintail Pool where 431 houses were counted with an average of more than 2 houses per acre.

The refuge had planned to drawdown Pelican Pool in 2007 to reduce the solid stand of river bulrush and cattail.  However, the muskrats have seemed to accomplish our habitat management goal for us.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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