Title page for ETD etd-0407103-142502

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Adkins, Jeremy Paul
Author's Email Address jadkins@lsu.edu
URN etd-0407103-142502
Title Experimental Predator Removal: A Response in Small Mammal Communities and Relations to Duck Nest Success
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Frank Rohwer Committee Chair
Michael Chamberlain Committee Member
Vernon Wright Committee Member
  • waterfowl nest success
  • prairie pothole region
  • small mammals
  • predators
Date of Defense 2003-03-31
Availability unrestricted
Reducing predator populations in the prairie pothole region can greatly increase nest success of both over water and upland nesting ducks. However, little is understood about impacts of predator removal on other wildlife within the same area. I conducted a field experiment to test whether small mammals, primarily mice (Peromyscus sp.) and voles (Microtus sp.), responded to seasonally reduced predator abundance. I compared small mammal abundance on 10 experimental (259 ha) sites in North Dakota during 2001 and 2002 with intensive, seasonal predator trapping with 10 control sites (259 ha) also monitored in both years. Small mammals were more abundant on sites where predators had been removed (F3,132= 44.45, P<0.001), suggesting that small mammals responded numerically to an absence of medium-sized carnivores. However, levels of small mammals were comparable in both springs, suggesting that enlarged populations of rodents in summer and early fall were not sustained through winter. I also observed a strong positive relationship between small mammal abundance and duck nest success (r = 0.84, P = 0.002 in 2001; r= 0.82, P = 0.004 in 2002), suggesting a possible buffer effect small mammals may have on predation of waterfowl nest.
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