Globally, grassy bioms are increasingly threatened by woody encroachment - likely driven by human activities. Humans supress fire, alter disturbance regimes, and introduce new species that work together to cause state shifts from savanna (open canopy) to forested (closed canopy) systems.
Here in the Southeast our own Long Leaf Pine Savanna is one of the most threatened ecosystems in the US. The shift from a pine savanna to an oak dominated forest likely has consiquences for the endemic wildlife in the region including the declinging Sherman's fox squirrel.
Fox squirrels may be responding to the shifiting habitat, or driven out by competition with grey squirrels. To discover the source of their decline we will manipulate competition and predation at the Jones Ecological Center in Newton, GA. http://www.jonesctr.org/
Fore more information on this project contact firstname.lastname@example.org