SREL Reprint #0284




Distances Moved by Small Mammals as an Apparent Function of Grid Size

Barry F. Gaust, Michael H. Smith and W. Bradley WRAY



Live traps were use don a 26 x 26 grid (14.1 ha) to determine the movement patterns of three species of small mammals in a lowland mesic-hardwood forest.  Blarina breviauda moved an average of 94.7 m between successive captures, Ochrotomys nuttalli 72.8 m and Peromyscus gossypinus 54.0 m.  These data are not consistent with Calhoun’s theory of social dominance.  Linear relationships are given for predicting home range size as calculated by several different methods from average distance between captures.  A new way of depicting the distribution of distances between captures is given.  Movement son the middle 16 x 16 grid compared to those on the 26 x 26 grid were 19.4% shorter for O. nuttalli and 25.1% shorter for P. gossypinus.  Longer movements are extending the area of effect around a census grid or line farther than might be expected from data collected on smaller study plots.  Thus, an upward bias is introduced into most density estimates.


SREL Reprint #0284

Faust, B.F., M.H. Smith, and W.B. Wray. 1971. Distances moved by small mammals as an apparent function of grid size. Acta Theriologica 11:161-177.

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