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Characteristics and Uses of Peromyscus Tracking Data
- Sheppe, Walter
- Ecology 1965 v.46 no.5 pp. 630-634
- Peromyscus maniculatus, mice, paper, probability, trapping
- Movements of island populations of deer mice were studied by smoked paper tracking supplemented by live trapping. Some mice tracked regularly, others rarely. Some stations were tracked much more than others. The number of track records per night varied greatly, being much greater immediately after trapping than at other times. Tracking was increased when novel track shelters were substituted for familiar ones. Use of shelters is a form of exploratory behavior that occurs most often when the shelters present stimuli strong enough to elicit exploration but not strong enough to repel the mouse. Tracking also was increased when bait was placed in the shelters. The tracking method produces more data than trapping and interferes less with the movements of the mice. However, it has a greater probability of error, produces more variable results, and does not provide data on the condition of the mice.