2008, pp 93-106

Food Selection and Caching Behavior

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Most species of Neotoma are generalist herbivores capable of adapting their feeding habits to local conditions and available food resources (Rainey 1956). Although Allegheny woodrats (N. magister) are considered generalist herbivores, they differ from most other woodrats as habitat specialists (Newcombe 1930, Poole 1940). Because Allegheny woodrats depend on rocky habitats that may be limiting in the surrounding environment, they cannot easily disperse in response to habitat disturbance and may be affected more by habitat change than other woodrat species (Castleberry et al. 2001). Severe habitat disturbances could cause localized extirpations, whereas similar disturbances in other woodrat species may have little effect. Because several factors affecting the availability of food resources have been suggested as contributing to localized Allegheny woodrat population declines (LoGiudice Chapter 2), knowledge of food habits and how these habits change in response to disturbanc ...