Over the past 20–30 y, northern and western populations of the Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) have experienced large declines, whereas populations in the core of the range are assumed to be stable. We examined population trends at two study areas in northcentral West Virginia along the western ridge of the central Appalachian Mountains. Temperature and precipitation parameters along with mast production were examined to determine if these environmental variables impacted the population. Based on a 5 y dataset, our results indicate a yearly decrease in the overall population, with adult females most affected. Hard and soft mast availability related to adult female capture rates, whereas temperatures significantly affected juvenile, adult female and overall capture rates. Juvenile summer capture rates increased with warmer temperatures the preceding winter. Female summer capture rates decreased with warmer temperatures the preceding spring suggesting that effects of warming should be added as a potential threat to the Allegheny woodrat.
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Vol. 162 • No. 1