Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Interdisciplinary Studies

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Wildlife Disease Ecology

Department or School/College

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Committee Co-chair

Mike Minnick, Richard Douglass

Commitee Members

Amy Kuenzi, Brian Steele


correlation, deer mouse, dispersal, grass land, hantavirus, Montana, peridomestic, Peromyscus maniculatus, shrub steppe, Sin Nombre virus, sylvan, trap night


University of Montana


We examined seasonal dispersal habits of sylvan deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) within two Montana rangeland types over a three - year period. The rangeland types included a grassland and shrub-steppe habitat. Within the state of Montana, both habitat types commonly contain peridomestic settings due to the widespread influence of the ranching industry. These peridomestic environments are where most reported human cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) originate. During the study, we trapped each site twice a month in two week intervals through all weather conditions and a temperature range from -36.7 to + 40.0 °C. We accumulated 85,200 trap nights of effort and captured 6,185 individual deer mice a total of 22,654 times. We documented a total of 980 dispersing individuals over three years. Our results demonstrated no significant seasonal differences in the number of dispersing individuals. However, we did find a positive correlation between number of dispersing individuals and number of individuals captured at both sites. We also found that adult males tended to disperse more often during the spring compared to other seasons.

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