Term of Award

Summer 1993

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Michael P. Moulton

Committee Member 1

Ann E. Pratt

Committee Member 2

Oscar J. Pung


I conducted an experimental test of the influence of supplemental food on persistence time of intentionally introduced (i.e. translocated) mice (Mus musculus) on four habitat islands. I determined the species composition of small mammals in the four insular patches of habitat (i.e. habitat islands) formed by Interstate Highway 16 and associated access roads at the US Hwy 301 interchange using standard live-trapping methods. Two of the habitat islands supported three resident rodent species, whereas the other two each supported one species.

After determining the initial species composition of the four habitat islands I released 14 uniquely marked individuals of the house mouse (Mus musculus) onto each islands, and subsequently determined the persistence times of all mice by repeated live-trapping for a period of four months. In two of the habitat islands (one with three resident species and one with one resident species) I provided supplemental food each week using a broadcast spreader.

Persistence times were significantly greater in the two habitat islands with supplemental food versus the two habitat islands with no supplemental food. Moreover, frequency of recaptures decreased significantly over time in the habitat island with 3 resident species, but did not vary with time in the habitat island with only one resident species.


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