Intraspecific Space Use in Peromyscus polionotus

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Sociality in rodents varies along a continuum from completely solitary, except when mating, to obligate communal living. In the genus Peromyscus, some species (P. leucopus and P. maniculutas) exhibit sociality at certain times and in certain environmental conditions, while other species (e.g., P. californicus) are socially monogamous. Peromyscus polionotus, is a common member of communities in the southeastern U.S. that is found on sandy soils where it constructs burrows. This species is also monogamous. Monogamy should be reflected in space use where males and females share overlapping home ranges, and home range size is equal. In this study, we examined home ranges and burrow use of 38 individuals using radio telemetry in winter of 2014-2015, spring of 2015, and summer of 2015. Home range size ranged from 1306 m2 - 1532 m2 and did not differ between sexes or seasons. Home ranges of males and females overlapped, and there was a pattern of site fidelity. Burrows were clustered spatially and the location of burrows persisted over time. Burrows were used by multiple combinations of mice, including all types of pairs and trios. Over the course of the study, groups of mice used multiple burrows. Groups included both reproductive and non-reproductive individuals. Our results support monogamy in this species, and a higher level of sociality than is found in other members of the genus.


American Society of Mammalogists Annual Meeting (ASM)


Moscow, ID