Jack Witham, associate scientist for University of Maine’s Center for Research on Sustainable Forests, will talk about the roles of rodents and how their populations tell stories about forest health at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, via Zoom, according to a news release from the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust in Bath.

The talk, hosted by the land trust, will showcase the 35-plus years of small mammal research Witham has guided at Holt Research Forest in Arrowsic.

Small mammals, like flying squirrels, white-footed mice and red-backed voles, are abundant vertebrates residing at Holt Research Forest. Studying their populations and knowing their preferences for particular tree seeds, for example, indicate important relationships between these little furry wildlife and the forest habitat. It also gives insight into topics such as the abundance of undesirable invertebrates such as ticks, how local forests are changing over time, and the impacts of the changing climate on native wildlife.

Registration is free and required in order to receive the Zoom link for the presentation. For more information and to sign-up, visit kennebecestuary.org or call 207-442-8400.

According to the release, Holt Research Forest is a 300-acre forest on property owned by Maine TREE Foundation. It is the site of long-term ecosystem research in a mid-coast Maine oak-pine forest. Since 1983, studies have been conducted by University of Maine’s College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, & Agriculture through the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests, the School of Forest Resources, and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology.

 

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