Dam construction update: starting on June 1, LLELA visitors will not be able to cross the outlet works. There will be no access to the Bittern Marsh Trail or east side of the river. Sometime soon (date currently unknown), all access east of the Cicada Pavilion will be prohibited for about 8 weeks. This will include the following areas and trails: Bittern Marsh Trail, kayaking and fishing in the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, all camping areas, and the Redbud Trail. Only the Blackjack, Green Dragon, Cottonwood, and Cicada Trails will be open during that time.


Spatiotemporal Community Dynamics of Small Mammals in North Central Texas


By UNT Graduate Student Cody Cox

Rodent 1North Central Texas has a wide variety of small mammals that most people do not even see. Many of the small mammals we think of, such as mice and rats, are often considered nuisance species. These small mammals can act as important indicators of the environmental health. These valuable species are prey for predators, seed dispersers, and aerate the soil. Both short-term and long-term disturbances in the environment can impact small mammal communities. Given that the DFW Metroplex is an extremely fast-growing area, we can expect habitat degradation to non-protected areas increase.

This study is utilizing small mammals as a model group to study the community dynamics at a virtual island (LLELA) and a more continuous landscape (LBJ). Populations are being studied across both the seasons and years in grasslands and forests. Data is being collected by the use of Sherman traps. Data collected will provide information over species diversity, species abundance, and habitat preference. Any temporal and spatial variation that exists among small mammals between two sites is being investigated to help provide evidence over the differences between island and mainland communities. The effect of habitat fragmentation will also be analyzed from the data collected. 

Rodent 2