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Influence of trophy hunting and horn size on mating behavior and survivorship of mountain sheep

Journal of Mammalogy

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Abstract

SUMMARY: Small-mammal populations of a 4.4-acre farm woodlot on the Patuxent Research Center, Mary land were studied by periodic live trapping for nearly 5 years, I949-54: The woodlot is a mixed stand of pine and deciduous trees, most of which began to grow in an abandoned farm field in the decade 1914-24. Traps were set in a 60-foot grid at intervals of approximately 2 months. Peromyscus leucopus, Microtus pennsylvanicus, and Pitymys pinetorum were the principal species. Peromyscus were most numerous. They fluctuated seasonally from a high in December to a low in April. Numbers increased to a low midsummer peak, declined slightly, then increased again to the high for the year in December. Seasonal trends in the numbers were intermediate between seasonal cycles in the north and those in the south. They were similar to the pattern in Michigan, although population peaks in fall were about a month later in Maryland. Our December populations varied from 3.9 to 8.6 Peromyscus per acre, April populations from 0 to 3.6 per acre. High numbers were present through most of 1951 and 1953. One Peromyscus was trapped in the woodlot for a period of 38 months, and several others for a year or more. The average expectancy of residence was about 3 months. No seasonal differences in persistence in the woodlot were noted. Most Peromyscus maintained home ranges in the same. general area from month to month. A few made trips away from their usual ranges, or gradually shifted their ranges. Several mice ranged over the entire woodlot at some times, but occupied more limited parts of it at other times. The history of the travels of a mouse that lived there 38 mouths is discussed in detail. The greatest distance between capture sites was taken as an indication of range size. Distances, measured for mice trapped 14 or more times apiece, averaged 280 feet for females, 378 feet for males. These were long-term records and so included any shifts of range or trips that occurred. True home ranges almost certainly were smaller. Captures in a single week were too few to show actual ranges, but the average figures can be taken as a minimum; averages for mice taken 4-7 times in one week were 140 feet for females, 188 feet for males. True home-range sizes can be considered to lie between the weekly and the long-term figures. Peromyscus preferred the deciduous parts of the woodlot. Dense ground cover of viny tangles, honeysuckle, or shrubs was important, for areas of this type were heavily used wherever they occurred, even if beneath an overstory of pine. Use of the northeast border of the woodlot increased through the years as a Lespedeza bicolor planting grew to fruiting size. Microtus used the honeysuckle, grassy, and tangled zones of the woodlot borders as winter habitat. In most years their numbers increased from few or none in summer to a low peak in December and remained about the same until April, when they declined sharply. In 1951 and 1953, numbers increased steadily into April, apparently as a result of continued movement to the woodlot from surrounding areas. Numbers declined in April as usual. Individual Microtus had an expectancy of residence of less than 2 months. One stayed 6 months. While there, they maintained home ranges in limited areas. Pitymys were trapped most commonly around the margins of the woodlot, but also were taken in the interior in both pine and deciduous areas. Peak captures were in the June-September period, perhaps because of peak abundance then, but perhaps, instead, because of more activity above ground at that season. Peak numbers were trapped in 1950, 1951, and 1953. Most Pitymys that were trapped more than once were trapped in the same limited areas each time. Pitymys were trapped most commonly around the margins of the woodlot, but also were taken in the interior in both pine and deciduous areas. Peak captures were in the June-September period, perhaps because of peak abundance then, but perhaps, inste

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Influence of trophy hunting and horn size on mating behavior and survivorship of mountain sheep
Series title:
Journal of Mammalogy
Volume
83
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
p. 682-698
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Mammalogy
First page:
682
Last page:
698
Number of Pages:
17