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Effects of Sampling Blood on Survival of Small Mammals

Don E. Swann, Amy J. Kuenzi, Michael L. Morrison, Stephen DeStefano
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1382950 908-913 First published online: 22 August 1997


We assessed mortality due to handling and survival of small mammals that had been anesthetized and then bled through the orbital sinus during a 1-year study in southeastern Arizona. Rates of return and mortality due to handling were not significantly different between treatment and control for any species. Estimates of survival based on Cormack-Jolly-Seber capture-recapture models indicated no significant difference (P < 0.05) in survival for white-throated woodrats (Neotoma albigula) and combined species of mice in the genus Peromyscus. However, for pocket mice (Chaetodipus) mean rates of survival were significantly lower for animals that had been bled. Removing samples of blood from wild rodents appears to have little effect on survival for most species. Lower survival in pocket mice may be due to the effects of anesthesia or the combined effects of bleeding and anesthesia on this desert-adapted animal.

Key words
  • Neotoma albigula
  • Peromyscus
  • Chaetodipus
  • survival
  • hantavirus
  • suborbital bleeding
  • anesthesia
  • methoxyflurane