Small mammals in montane wet meadow habitat at Grays Lake, Idaho

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Northwest Science, Northwest Scientific Association, Volume 78, Issue 3, p.225-233 (2004)

Call Number:



We studied small mammal populations in wet meadow habitats at Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Idaho during the summer, 1996-2000. We captured five species: meadow vole, montane vole, deer mouse, vagrant shrew, and ermine. Populations of meadow and montane voles irrupted in 1998, then declined to 1997 levels in 1999 and 2000. Capture rates of vagrant shrews were higher in 1998 and 2000 than in 1997 and 1999. Capture rates for ermine were highest in 1998 and 1999 and lowest in 1997 and 2000. The ratio of capture rates of prey species (montane and meadow voles, vagrant shrew, and deer mouse) to that of ermine increased from 5.20 in 1997 to 13.18 in 1998, declined to 0.77 in 1999, and rebounded in 2000 to 7.95. We detected no differences in capture rates among three land management treatments (idle, fall grazing, and fall burning) for any species, but capture rates were relatively low during the two post-treatment years. We found no evidence that amount of litter or vegetation type (>50% green vs. other) affected capture rates for any species. The effect of soil wetness varied by year for deer mice and ermine. Long-term studies, conducted over several micro tine cycles and a range of environmental conditions, are needed to better understand the role of small mammals in wet meadow communities.


Reference Code: A04AUS01IDUS

Full Citation: Austin, J. E., and W. H. Pyle. 2004. Small mammals in montane wet meadow habitat at Grays Lake, Idaho. Northwest Science 78(3): 225-233.