Master's Theses

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Date of Award

Spring 1959

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Committee Chair

Abstract

An investigation to determine the effects of cattle exclosures on the habits and activities of small mammals within and surrounding these protected areas was conducted from September to November of 1958. Four exclosures located in a 750 acre moderately grazed mixed prairie near Hays, Kansas that were sampled included a shortgrass exclosure, a little bluestem exclosure, and two exclosures diagonally dissected by a transition area. Live-traps were placed inside each exclosure in a grid with 10 feet intervals. The species, sex, and approximate age of each individual were recorded. Each exclosure was live-trapped from 10 to 14 days. Snap-traps were used outside each exclosure to determine the distance the marked rodents travelled from within the exclosure. Four concentric rings of snap-traps were placed around each exclosure. The rings were 10 feet apart and the intervals between traps varied from five to 10 feet. The snap-traps were checked daily at each exclosure for a period of seven to 14 days. The point contact method was used to determine the percentage composition and basal cover of the vegetation within and surrounding each exclosure. The principle species of small mammals captured during the study were (Peromyscus maniculatus nebrascensis), (Microtus ochrogaster haydenii), (Sigmodon hispidus texianus), and (Onychomys leucogaster leucogaster). Peromyscus were the most commonly captured mammals at the four exclosures, and were generally taken in sparsely vegetated hillside areas. Microtus and Sigmodon were captured almost exclusively in the heavy vegetation within or adjacent to the protected areas. When Microtus and Sigmodon were found together, Sigmodon occupied the more favorably vegetated areas. Onychomys occurred in greatest numbers within or adjacent to sparsely vegetated hillside areas.

Rights

Copyright 1959 William P. Hanzlick

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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