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Loss of Body Mass Associated with Capture of Sigmodon and Microtus from Northeastern Kansas

Norman A. Slade
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1381992 171-176 First published online: 13 February 1991


During a mark-release study, individual Sigmodon hispidus and Microtus ochrogaster generally lost mass when captured repeatedly within 3-day trapping periods. Losses, expressed as proportion of body mass, varied inversely with size within each species and differed between species. Sigmodon losses varied seasonally more than did those of Microtus. In contrast to Sigmodon, changes in mass of Microtus within a 3-day trapping period were correlated with changes among months and perhaps with survival. Short-term mass-specific losses were similar at comparable stages of maturation of the two species, but greater lipid stores in Sigmodon may provide an energy reserve that buffers the effects of confinement in live traps.

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