Small mammal recolonization of reclaimed coal surface-mined land in Wyoming

  • Published source details Hingtgen T.M. & Clark W.R. (1984) Small mammal recolonization of reclaimed coal surface-mined land in Wyoming. Journal of Wildlife Management, 48, 1255-1261.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore former mining sites

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Restore former mining sites

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1980–1981 of four restored areas of a mine and an adjacent unmined grassland in Wyoming, USA (Hingtgen & Clark 1984) found that on restored mine plots, small mammal density was similar to that found on unmined land. Average mammal density on two-year-old restored plots (14–16 individuals/ha) and 3–5-year-old restored plots (16–23 individuals/ha) were not significantly different to those on unmined plots (12–14 individuals/ha). More deer mice Peromyscus maniculatus were found in restored plots (13–18/ha) than in unmined plots (6–8/ha). The reverse was true for thirteen-lined ground squirrels Spermophilus tridecemlineatus (restored: 0.6–1.5/ha; unmined: 4.5–5.0/ha). Plots were restored by replacing mine deposits with topsoil followed by adding seed and fertilizer. Two restored areas were studied in 1980 and four (including the original two) in 1981. A nearby area of unmined rangeland was sampled both years. Small mammals in restored plots were live-trapped for 4–7 days/month in June–August 1980 and May–September 1981. On the unmined rangeland, mammals were live-trapped for 4–7 days in July both years.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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