Long-distance movements of the deer mouse in tallgrass prairie

TitleLong-distance movements of the deer mouse in tallgrass prairie
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsRehmeier, RL, Kaufman, GA, Kaufman, DW
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Pagination562 -568
Accession NumberKNZ00880
Keywordsfire, kansas, Movement, Peromyscus maniculatus, prairie deer mouse, relative abundance, season, tallgrass prairie

Long-distance movements may play an important role in regulating populations of small mammals. To examine such movements, we livetrapped 1,712 deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) on 14–28 permanent traplines from autumn 1981 to spring 1990 on the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas. These data were collected under a variety of climatic and biotic conditions that resulted in detection of > 100 long-distance movements by deer mice between traplines (moves of 50–1,320 m). Males made more moves than females, but distance moved did not differ by sex. Age did not affect the number or distance of movements. On average, more long-distance moves occurred in spring and summer than in autumn, but distance did not differ by season. Proportion of the population making intertrapline movements was inversely related to abundance of deer mice. Deer mice did not exhibit a fire-positive response in long-distance movement. Our results indicate that deer mice may be more mobile than originally thought. Researchers should incorporate improved methods for detecting longer movements to better understand causes and consequences of these movements.