Rare species of small mammals in northeastern Kansas tallgrass prairie

TitleRare species of small mammals in northeastern Kansas tallgrass prairie
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsMcMillan, BR, Kaufman, DW, Kaufman, GA
EditorSpringer, JT
Pagination120 -126
PublisherUniversity of Nebraska at Kearney
Conference LocationKearney, NE
Accession NumberKNZ00699
KeywordsChaetodipus hispidus, Cryptotis parva, eastern woodrat, fire, hispid pocket mouse, house mouse, Konza Prairie Research Natural Area, least shrew, meadow jumping mouse, Mus musculus, Neotoma floridana, plains harvest mouse, Reithrodontomys montanus, southern bog lemming, Synaptomys cooperi, topography, Zapus hudsonius

We sampled small mammals in native tallgrass prairie habitat from autumn 1981 to spring 1998 on Konza Prairie Research Natural Area, Kansas. In 130,560 trap-nights, we captured 14 species of small mammals. In decreasing order of abundance, the relatively common species were the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis), Elliot's short-tailed shrew (Blarina hylophaga), white-footed mouse (P. leucopus), prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), and hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus). Likewise, rare species were the southern bog lemming (Synaptomys cooperi), hispid pocket mouse (Chaetodipus hispidus), eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana), house mouse (Mus musculus), plains harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys montanus), least shrew (Cryptotis parva), and meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius). Relative abundances of the rare species ranged from 0.002 (individuals/trapline/sampling period) for the meadow jumping mouse to 0.112 for the southern bog lemming. All rare species combined comprised approximately 2% of the small mammal community in grasslands on Konza Prairie. Southern bog lemmings selectively used sites that were left unburned for 2-3 years in contrast to those burned annually and those unburned for s 4 years. Time since fire had no detectable effect on numbers of individuals for the other 6 rare species. In addition, southern bog lemmings, eastern woodrats, and hispid pocket mice were distributed nonrandomly with respect to topography.