The open, early-successional habitats created by the powerline right-of-way likely favors increased abundance of least chipmunks and North American deermice.
Although rate of capture may have increased in forested habitat due to greater distance from the right-of-way, the higher rate of capture in forested habitat at control sites suggests that availability of water also was a factor.
Although presence of riparian habitats may have influenced our results, we suggest that the right-of-way also had an effect on distribution and density of southern red-backed voles.
We do not believe our data support avoidance of the right-of-way by cinereus shrews.
Least chipmunks were significantly more abundant within the right-of-way at powerline sites.
The influence a right-of-way has on movements often depends on successional stage of the right-of-way, with early succession being a barrier to forest-dwelling species (Gates, 1991).
Although a male southern red-backed vole crossed the right-of-way in its natural movements, the few right-of-way crossings following translocation suggest the right-of-way formed at least a partial barrier to southern red-backed voles.
We believe that retention of downed woody debris in powerline right-of-ways would provide refugia and reduce the impact of the right-of-way on abundance and movement of southern red-backed voles.
Diversity of small mammals in a powerline right-of-way and adjacent forest in East Tennessee.
TABLE 1--Number of individuals captured and diversity of the community of small mammals at three sites that contained a 40-m-wide powerline right-of-way and three control sites in undisturbed forests in Roosevelt-Arapahoe National Forest near Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County, Colorado.