What landscape aspects may have been important to Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus spp.) game farms during the Mid-20th Century in the United States?





Game farms, Sylvilagus spp, Landscape Ecology


The Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) was an iconic game species during the mid-20thcentury in the United States. Game farms were set up to produce additional cottontail numbers for hunting purposes; however, for various reasons, many game farms were unable to propagate the necessary additional numbers of cottontails needed. The purpose of this paper is to review the landscape factors involved and offer recommendations on the importance of a landscape perspective with the use of game farms under a historical mid-20th century perspective. The results of this paper show that areas with more regional spatial scales and more than one game farm reared more cottontails and harvested than the single county, single game farm scenarios and soil for plant growth, topography and relief, and edges and boundaries of landscapes were some of the main landscape attributes that could have been important for the historical cottontail game farms. Further research could examine the number of game farms, suggestions for plot number and size, and landscape barriers to disturbance in order to help mitigate threats to cottontail game populations.


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Author Biography

Kelsey Gilcrease, South Dakota Mines

Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Health Sciences. Kelsey Gilcrease is a biology and ecology instructor at the South Dakota Mines in Rapid City, South Dakota. Her main research interests include the conservation of leporids, conservation history in the United States, conservation planning mechanisms, and population ecology of mammalian fauna.


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