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Read the scientific article here

Salt marsh harvest mice (Reithrodontomys raviventris), or "salties" as they're affectionately called, are incredible creatures - adapted to survive in the wetlands and marshes of northern California. However, anthropogenic activity and increasing wetland manipulation is threatening the habitat these mice are specialized to live in. As a federally-listed endangered species, protecting the salt marsh harvest mouse is a priority for conservationists and managers in the region.

I undertook an advanced analysis of the habitat selection of "salties", with a focus on the role of vegetation structure. Previous field studies suggest that salt marsh harvest mice rely on both low-lying plants (such as pickleweed; Salicornia pacifica) for food, and taller vegetation (such as cattails; Typha spp.) for tidal refugia and prey avoidance. However, with the advancement of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), examining vegetation structure at a fine scale has never been easier. My work aimed to combine LiDAR imagery from Suisun Marsh with mark-recapture data collected on "salties" to identify characteristics of the vegetation that may promote mice presence - which in turn will help managers develop plans that better protect the species. 

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