Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science


Environmental Science

First Committee Member

Dr. Shawn L. Gerstenberger, Examination Committee Chair Professor of Environmental Studies University of Nevada Las Vegas

Number of Pages



Percent litter, average litter depth, percent bare ground, vegetation density, vegetation canopy, and distance to an ecotone boundary were measured and compared to small mammal capture locations in the Las Vegas Wash. Neotoma lepida appear to be greatly dependent upon the foliage litter of T. ramosissima. Alternatively, ecotone boundaries appear to be the most important factor affecting Dipodomys merriami distributions. Peromyscus eremicus distributions may be predicted based on vegetation density and increased canopy during shorter, winter torpor periods. Chaetodipus penicillatus were consistently associated with dense, seed-bearing vegetation, although C. penicillatus is extremely opportunistic and vegetation density should not limit their distributions. Long-term management strategies for the Las Vegas Wash should include the diverse habitat requirements of small mammals and also acknowledge the dependence of certain species on non-native vegetation.


Cactus mouse; Chaetodipus penicillatus; Desert pocket mouse; Desert woodrats; Dipodomys merriami; Invasive species; Las Vegas wash; Merriam's kangaroo rats; Mice; Neotoma lepida; Nevada; Peromyscus eremicus; Rodents; Salt cedar; Tamarix ramosissima; Vegetative litter


Desert Ecology | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Sciences | Systems Biology | Weed Science