SREL Reprint #0401




Seasonal Abundance and Movement of Nine Species of Small Mammals

Linda A. Briese and Michael H. Smith



Through the use of a drift fence with pitfall traps and live trapping on a grid, movements of nine species of small mammals on and surrounding an old field were recorded.  Seasonal trends in movement were apparent for all species for which sufficient data were collected.  There were significant interspecific differences in timing and magnitude of movement.  Certain species occurred in almost all habitats while others were more restricted in their distribution.  Pitfall traps are more sufficient than drop door live traps for shrews and their use results in a greater diversity of small mammal captures in different habitats.  Evidence of extensive movement on the study area makes us question the relatively static home range concept of the spatial distribution of mammals.  At certain times during the year animals appear to shift their centers of activity to make optimum use of available cover.  From 22 to 50 per cent of all animals disappearing from the field were emigrating; this percentage did not differ between adults and juveniles.  Using calcium as an example of elemental cycling, movements around the edge of the field resulted in an average net gain of ten per cent of the standing crop of this element per month.


SREL Reprint #401

Briese, L.A. and M.H. Smith. 1974. Seasonal abundance and movement of nine species of small mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 55:615-629.

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