Resources that an individual selects contrasted against what is available can provide valuable information regarding species-specific behavior and ecological relationships. Small mammals represent excellent study organisms to assess such relationships. Isolated populations that exist on the edge of a species distribution often exhibit behavioral adaptations to the extremes experienced by a species and can provide meaningful insight into the resource requirements of the species. We deployed radio transmitters in a peripheral population of the long-tailed vole (Microtus longicaudus) during the mating season. We developed models of resource selection at multiple scales (within home range and patch). We found voles generally selected areas close to water and roads and consisting of high understory vegetation primarily composed of grasses. Resource selection varied between sexes suggesting different resource needs during the breeding season. The differential resource needs of voles might be a result of the energetic requirements for reproduction and are representative of a promiscuous or polygynous mating system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)