Index of Species Information

WILDLIFE SPECIES:  Peromyscus maniculatus

Introductory

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Peromyscus maniculatus
Photo by David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : 
Sullivan, Janet. 1995. Peromyscus maniculatus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). 
Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

Revisions: Photo added 21 April 2014


ABBREVIATION : PEMA COMMON NAMES : deer mouse TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for deer mouse is Peromyscus maniculatus (Wagner) [51]. It is in the family Cricetidae (New World mice). Hall [51] listed 67 subspecies, describing the species as a series of intergrading populations. Subspecies in the same area may be ecologically distinct. Subspecies mentioned in this text include [51]: cloudland deer mouse (P. m. nubiterrae) prairie deer mouse (P. m. bairdii) forest deer mouse (P. m. gracilis) ORDER : Rodentia CLASS : Mammal FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status


WILDLIFE DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Peromyscus maniculatus
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Deer mice occur throughout most of North America and are abundant in most areas.  Deer mouse is the most widely distributed Peromyscus species [51].  Deer mice are distributed from Quebec and New Brunswick west to Yukon Territory and southeast Alaska; south to Baja California and through the Sierra Madre to southern Mexico; south in central Texas to the Gulf of Mexico; and south in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia [57,127]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES10 White-red-jack pine FRES11 Spruce-fir FRES12 Longleaf-slash pine FRES13 Loblolly-shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak-pine FRES15 Oak-hickory FRES17 Elm-ash-cottonwood FRES18 Maple-beech-birch FRES19 Aspen-birch FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES22 Western white pine FRES23 Fir-spruce FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce FRES25 Larch FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES27 Redwood FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES29 Sagebrush FRES30 Desert shrub FRES31 Shinnery FRES32 Texas savanna FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon-juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES37 Mountain meadows FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES39 Prairie FRES40 Desert grasslands FRES41 Wet grasslands FRES42 Annual grasslands FRES44 Alpine STATES :
AK AR CA CO CT DE GA ID IL IN
IA KS KY ME MD MA MI MN MO MT
NE NV NH NJ NM NY ND OH OK OR
PA RI SD TN TX UT VT WA WV WI
WY DC
AB BC MB NB NF NT NS ON PQ SK YT
MEXICO
BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     1  Northern Pacific Border     2  Cascade Mountains     3  Southern Pacific Border     4  Sierra Mountains     5  Columbia Plateau     6  Upper Basin and Range     7  Lower Basin and Range     8  Northern Rocky Mountains     9  Middle Rocky Mountains    10  Wyoming Basin    11  Southern Rocky Mountains    12  Colorado Plateau    13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont    14  Great Plains    15  Black Hills Uplift    16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    Deer mice occur in nearly all Kuchler types except those    in the extreme southeastern United States. SAF COVER TYPES :    Deer mice occur in nearly all SAF cover types except those    in the extreme southeastern United States SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES :    Deer mice occur in nearly all SRM cover types except those    in the extreme southeastern United States. PLANT COMMUNITIES : Deer mice are nearly ubiquitous in North America [57]; they inhabit a wide variety of plant communities including grasslands, brushy areas, woodlands, and forests [127].  In a survey of small mammals on 29 sites in subalpine forests in Colorado and Wyoming, the deer mouse had the highest frequency of occurrence; however, it was not always the most abundant small mammal [95].  Deer mice were trapped in four of six forest communities in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, and they were the only rodent in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) savanna [55]. In northern New England deer mice are present in both coniferous and deciduous forests [29].  Deer mice are often the only Peromyscus species in northern boreal forest [3].  Subspecies differ in their use of plant communities and vegetation structures.  There are two main groups of deer mouse:  the prairie deer mouse and the woodland or forest deer mouse group (typified by P. m. gracilis but consisting of many subspecies) [127]. In the following states, deer mice were listed in the specified vegetative community as the most common or most frequent rodent or small mammal: Oregon:  Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) [25] eastern Washington/northern Idaho:  big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata),    grasslands (2 types), coniferous forest (4 types) [131] eastern Washington:  cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)-dominated grasslands [92] southeastern Idaho:  big sagebrush [97], big sagebrush/crested   wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) [67], Russian-thistle (Salsola kali),   crested wheatgrass, and fenceline [48] Nevada:  pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) [80], big    sagebrush-antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), and    curlleaf mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) [87] Utah:  pinyon-juniper [4] southeastern Montana:  buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides), snowberry    (Symphoricarpos spp.)-dominated riparian areas, big sagebrush,    and ponderosa pine [76] Wyoming:  lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) [132] Colorado:  pinyon-juniper [36] Southwest:  ponderosa pine [22] Arizona:  ponderosa pine [46] West Virginia:  red spruce (Picea rubens) and red spruce-northern    hardwoods [66]

BIOLOGICAL DATA AND HABITAT REQUIREMENTS

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Peromyscus maniculatus
TIMING OF MAJOR LIFE HISTORY EVENTS : Deer mice are active year-round, although activity is minimal in cold and/or wet weather.  They are nocturnal [79]. Breeding Season:  In most parts of their range deer mice breed from March to October [86].  Deer mouse breeding tends to be determined more by food availability than by season per se.  In Plumas County, California, deer mice bred through December in good mast (both soft and hard masts) years but ceased breeding in June of a poor mast year [3]. Deer mice breed throughout the year in the Willamette Valley, but in other areas on the Oregon coast there is usually a lull during the wettest and coldest weather [79].  In southeastern Arizona at least one-third of captured deer mice were in breeding condition in winter [17].  In Virginia breeding peaks occur from April to June and from September to October [130]. Nesting:  Female deer mice construct nests using a variety of materials including grasses, roots, mosses, wool, thistledown, and various artificial fibers [79]. Gestation, Litter Size, and Productivity:  Peromyscus species gestation periods range from 22 to 26 days [72].  Typical litters are composed of three to five young; litter size ranges from one to nine young.  Most female deer mice have more than one litter per year [79].  Three or four litters per year is probably typical; captive deer mice have borne as many as 14 litters in one year.  Males usually live with the family and help care for the young [86]. Development of Young:  Deer mice are born blind, naked, and helpless; development is rapid.  Young deer mice have full coats by the end of the second week; their eyes open between 13 and 19 days; and they are fully furred and independent in only a few weeks [79].  Females lactate for 27 to 34 days after giving birth; most young are weaned at about 18 to 24 days.  Young reach adult size at about 6 weeks and continue to gain weight slowly thereafter [72]. Age of first estrus averages about 48 days; the earliest recorded was 23 days.  The youngest wild female to produce a litter was 55 days old; it was estimated that conception had occurred when she was about 32 days old [72]. Dispersal:  Deer mouse pups usually disperse after weaning and before the birth of the next litter, when they are reaching sexual maturity. Occasionally juveniles remain in the natal area, particularly when breeding space is limited [126].  Most deer mice travel less than 500 feet (152 m) from the natal area to establish their own home range [114]. Longevity and Mortality:  Most deer mice in the wild have very short life spans, usually less than 1 year [79].  O'Farrell [88] reported that a population of deer mice in big sagebrush/grasslands had completely turned over (e.g., there were no surviving adults of the initial population) over the course of one summer.  One captive male deer mouse lived 32 months [79], and there is a report of a forest deer mouse that lived 8 years in captivity (another mouse was fertile until almost 6 years of age) [31]. PREFERRED HABITAT : Habitat Preferences:  In some forests and woodlands, disturbance appears to favor deer mice although they are also common in climax (old-growth) associations [3].  In Oregon and Washington Douglas-fir stands, deer mouse abundance was negatively correlated with proportion of coarse fragments in the soil.  In Washington the highest deer mouse numbers occurred in moderately moist, old-growth Douglas-fir, but the second highest population was in a clearcut [26].  In western Oregon deer mouse capture rates decreased substantially with distance from streams in mature Douglas-fir forest [81].  In the northern Sierra Nevada deer mice are primarily forest-dwelling and are not as abundant in brushlands. However, this differential distribution varies with elevation.  At 2,200 feet (670 m) elevation, deer mice were less common in forests than brush, from 3,500 to 5,000 feet (1,067-1,524 m) elevation deer mice were more common in forests than brush, and above 5,000 feet (1,524 m) deer mice were the only mouse species in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities.  They were less abundant in forests above 5,000 feet than in forests at lower elevations [60]. Preference for disturbed habitats has also been reported for some sagebrush and grassland communities.  In Nevada big sagebrush-antelope bitterbrush range, deer mouse captures were positively associated with relatively high amounts of litter, shorter shrubs, and greater shrub intersection [87].  In western South Dakota deer mice are associated with black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) towns, occurring in and near towns in higher abundance than in surrounding grasslands [104]. In grasslands and adjacent vegetative communities, deer mice are usually more abundant in early seral and/or severely disturbed areas than in undisturbed communities [37].  In Nebraska sandhills prairie deer mice were found more often in grass-forb communities than in sagebrush, grass, or on open ground, but were common in all types [74].  Geier and Best [45] ranked the deer mouse as selective of particular habitats in Iowa riparian areas; deer mice were positively associated with forb cover and negatively associated with mean length of downed logs, plant species richness, vertical stratification, and grass cover. A lack of preference for habitat features has been described for deer mice in several communities.  On the Oregon coast deer mice occupy all habitats from beach to forest [79]; a similarly wide distribution of deer mice was also found on islands off the coast of British Columbia [9,77].  In Colorado deer mice were equally prevalent in stands dominated by aspens (Populus spp.) and stands dominated by conifers [102].  In Illinois deer mouse abundance was not correlated with any of the tested habitat parameters:  bare ground, annual cover, perennial cover, grass cover, woody vegetation, and vegetative density [3].  In New Hampshire forests deer mice were captured in nearly all areas, showing no preference for a particular vegetative community [47].  On Mount Desert Island, Maine, deer mice were found in both coniferous and deciduous forests [40]. Habitat preferences that are not apparent at the species level may be resolved by closer attention to taxonomy.  Different deer mouse subspecies are strongly associated with habitat parameters.  For example, the prairie deer mouse avoids wooded areas, even if the surface layer is grass-dominated.  It is likely that deer mouse subspecies replace other deer mouse subspecies over the course of succession [3]. Logging Effects:  Logging frequently has a positive effect on deer mouse populations although some studies report no change or negative effects on deer mouse abundance.  Increased cover in slash and increased production of seed by annuals probably contribute to the positive effect.  The following studies all report increased deer mouse populations following logging or logging and slash-burning: Oregon:  in clearcuts in Douglas-fir forests; deer mice were present    in all successional stages with no strong correlation between    habitat features and deer mouse abundance [25,44,58,59] British Columbia:  in 15- to 17-year old clearcuts in Pacific silver    fir (Abies amabilis)-western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)-mountain    hemlock (T. mertensiana); deer mice were the most abundant rodents    in all stages [126] northwestern California: in clearcut and slash-burned Douglas-fir [123] Wyoming:  in lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, and climax Engelmann spruce    (Picea engelmannii) stands [19] central Colorado:  in small circular clearcuts in Engelmann spruce-subalpine    fir (Abies lasiocarpa) stands [103] Southwest:  in ponderosa pine; deer mouse abundance increased directly with    increased amounts of slash [22] New Mexico and Arizona:  after fall thinning of pinyon-juniper woodlands;    there was a negative correlation between juniper stocking density and deer    mouse abundance [2] Arizona:  deer mouse abundance was positively correlated with slash    in pinyon-juniper woodlands [68] in harvested ponderosa pine where    cull logs and large diameter limbs were left scattered rather than    piled [46] West Virginia:  in clearcut plots in coniferous forest [66] The following studies report no change or decreased deer mouse numbers with logging: West Virginia :  in clearcuts in deciduous forests; although deer mice    decreased after logging, they were the most abundant  rodent on    all plots [66]; deer mice were slightly more abundant in older hardwood    stands than in other stages including recently harvested areas, but    were present in all seres [16] Alaska:  deer mice were more numerous on timbered habitat than in    clearcuts; however, traplines in clearcuts were 2,000 feet (600 m)    from the nearest tree seed source [53] Grazing Effects:  In northern Nevada and southern Idaho high elevation riparian areas within big sagebrush habitat, there were more deer mice in grazed areas than in ungrazed areas on a sagebrush-dominated study site; however, on an aspen and willow (Salix spp.)-dominated study site there were more deer mice on the ungrazed site than the grazed site [23].  In another study there was little difference in deer mouse abundance between grazed and ungrazed plots in big sagebrush-antelope bitterbrush/Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis) range in Nevada [87].  In northeastern Colorado riparian areas, deer mice were negatively associated with grass cover, litter, and shrub presence [99].  In New Mexico deer mice were common in both grazed and ungrazed montane riparian areas [118].  Kaufman and others [62] predicted that grassland-inhabiting, fire-positive wildlife species such as the deer mouse would have higher relative abundance in moderately- to heavily-grazed grasslands than on lightly-grazed or ungrazed grasslands because of the lesser amount of litter on heavily-grazed areas [63]. Deer mouse abundance was higher on grazed sagebrush/grassland than on ungrazed sites [11]. Other Vegetation Management:  Application of herbicide to control shrubs and weeds had little effect on deer mouse population in logged western hemlock-western red-cedar-Douglas-fir plots in British Columbia [117]. Home Range:  Stickel [114] compiled studies on deer mouse home ranges across North America.  Most studies concluded that the size of the deer mouse home range was directly related to food supply, and varies with season.  There is often, but not always, an inverse relationship between deer mouse population density and home range size.  The smallest average home range, 0.08 acre (0.032 ha), was recorded in Arkansas young oak (Quercus spp.)-pine forest, and the largest average, 4.66 acres (1.2 ha), was in New Mexico mesquite (Prosopis spp.)  range [114].  Deer mice use and maintain several home sites or refuges within the home range. Prairie deer mice travel over a different area within the home range on successive nights, returning to the nest on the same path used for the outward trip.  The extent of travel and intensity of use of the home range varies with habitat change and loss or gain of conspecific neighbors.  Home range fidelity is fairly strong.  At least half of deer mice on an Alberta study site that were displaced more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m) from the capture site returned to the home area [119].  Adults shift home ranges in response to habitat alteration or disturbance.  One adult female, caught four times within a 75-foot (26 m) radius, shifted her home range 1,000 feet (305 m) [114]. Deer mice have considerable tolerance of conspecifics; individuals have overlapping ranges and sometimes associate in nests, particularly in winter [5,72].  In South Dakota grasslands deer mice congregate in groups of 15 or more during winter [37]. Population Density:  Normal population densities in Canada range from one to seven deer mice per acre (1-25/ha) [5].  Dalquest [28] estimated an average deer mouse population density of 400 per acre (0.04 ha) in thickly forested ravines in western Washington. COVER REQUIREMENTS : Deer mice are often active in open habitat; most subspecies do not develop hidden runways the way many voles (Microtus and Clethrionomys spp.) do [3,125].  In open habitat within forests deer mice have a tendency to visit the nearest timber [43].  In central Ontario deer mice used downed wood for runways [85]. Deer mice nest in burrows dug in the ground or construct nests in raised areas such as brush piles, logs, rocks, stumps, under bark, and in hollows in trees [79,85,127].  Nests are also constructed in various structures and artifacts including old boards and abandoned vehicles. Nests have been found up to 79 feet (24 m) above the ground in Douglas-fir trees [79]. FOOD HABITS : Deer mice are omnivorous; the main dietary items usually include arthropods and seeds.  Deer mice also consume nuts, berries and other small fruits, and fungi.  The prairie deer mouse prefers seeds of foxtail (Alopecurus spp.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum), caterpillars, and corn (Zea mays) where available [127].  In southeastern Montana deer mice in big sagebrush/grasslands consumed arthropods and seeds; the proportion changed with the year of study [107]. In Colorado pinyon-juniper woodlands 77 percent of the deer mouse diet was pinyon seeds when the seeds were available.  True pinyon (Pinus edulis) seeds were preferred over Mexican pinyon (P. cembroides) seeds [36].  In the Pacific Northwest deer mice consumed over 200 Douglas-fir seeds each in one night [41].  In southeastern Idaho crested wheatgrass seeds are important in deer mouse diets when available; when they are not available caterpillars are the most important item.  Availability of seeds and caterpillars varies seasonally [67].  In northern Sierra Nevada brushfields, deer mice consumed the largest proportion of seeds in January, the largest proportion of fruits in October and November, the largest proportion of arthropods in April, June, and July, and the largest proportion of leaves (though never more than 20 percent by volume) in April [61].  Kelrick and MacMahon [65] reported that antelope bitterbrush seed was the most nutritious seed available in sagebrush steppe, and big sagebrush seed the least nutritious.  Deer mice exhibited a preference for antelope bitterbrush seeds (in penned feeding trials) even if the deer mice had been trapped in other vegetative communities [33]. Deer mice cache food in hollow logs or other protected areas [127].  A single mouse may cache up to 3.2 quarts (3 L) of food for winter use [85]. PREDATORS : Deer mice are important prey for snakes (Viperidae), owls (Strigidae), mink (Mustela vison), marten (Martes americana) and other weasels (Mustelidae), skunks (Mephites and Spilogale spp.), bobcat (Lynx rufus), domestic cat (Felis cattus), coyote (Canis latrans), foxes (Vulpes and Urocyon spp.), and ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) [79]. MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Some deer mouse subspecies have undergone range extensions at the expense of other subspecies due to habitat alteration [3].  Lehmkuhl and Ruggiero [73] listed the forest deer mouse at risk of local extinction with increasing amounts of forest fragmentation. Impact on Vegetation:  Peromyscus species rarely alter vegetative cover since they do not eat leaves, twigs, or stems to any great extent.  Seed predation may reduce establishment rate of preferred plant species [3]. Economic Impact:  Hooven [58] summarized a number of publications on seed predation by deer mice.  He concluded that deer mice are capable of causing substantial loss of tree seed crops.  Deer mice are probably the major seed predator of Douglas-fir [79,84].  Some seedlings establish from rodent seed caches, but they are usually in small groups and often subject to disease and/or intense competition [84].  Numerous studies on rodent control methods and their effectiveness have been published [79]. Rodenticides often temporarily reduce deer mouse populations, but rarely effect complete population kill.  For example, Hoffer and others [56] reported that rodenticide reduced Peromyscus species to "target levels" in redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) stands, but the treatment left survivors.  Deer mouse migration into depopulated areas is rapid; even a small number of mice can quickly repopulate a treated area, rendering control efforts futile.  In British Columbia removal of deer mice only slightly increased the amount of surviving tree seed in both forested areas and clearcuts [116]. Economic Benefit:  Deer mice are important in the diets of many economically important furbearers, as well as that of other wildlife [79].  Deer mice consume insects that cause damage to crop trees.  In northern Ontario, deer mice and shrews (Sorcidae) consumed 13 percent of the white pine weevils in a jack pine (Pinus banksiana) plantation [8].

FIRE EFFECTS AND USE

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Peromyscus maniculatus
DIRECT FIRE EFFECTS ON ANIMALS : Causes of direct mortality due to fire include burns, heat stress, asphyxiation, physiological stress, trampling by other animals, and predation.  Indirect causes include loss of food supply, loss of nest sites, predation, increased parasitism and disease, increased competition, and changes in social interaction.  Small mammals such as the deer mouse often survive fire by moving into underground burrows or by moving to unburned areas [37].  Mortality within burrows is difficult to assess but hypothesized to be low [62,64].  Wirtz [128] reported that deer mice survived chaparral fires in burrows.  No dead animals were found after prescribed fire in mixed-grass prairie, a community inhabited by deer mice [110].  There are a few reports of direct mortality of deer mice from fire.  Chew and others [21] found two carcasses of Peromyscus species in 1.7-acre (0.7 ha) transect after a chaparral wildfire in an area supporting both deer mice and California mice (P.  californicus).  Attempts to radiotrack deer mice during a prescribed fire were largely unsuccessful; one female burrowed under an 8-inch (20 cm) diameter log that was scorched by the fire but did not burn.  The mouse survived the fire [111].  In west-central Oregon Douglas-fir stands, Gashwiler [43] observed deer mice on clearcut and slash-burned (October) areas while fires were still active; some were captured within 2 feet (0.6 m) of a smoldering fire.  He reported that 12 of 16 (75% of) mice marked prior to the fire were recaptured on the burned area within 15 days of fire initiation.  In November, 13 of the 16 original marked animals were recaptured on the burned area.  The total number of deer mice captured on the burn (21) was three times the number of deer mice captured on the adjacent unburned control plot [43]. In some instances, deer mice leave the burn area immediately after a fire, possibly due to the presence of loose ash or to a lack of food. Tevis [123] reported that one-third of the deer mice marked before a broadcast (slash) fire were recaptured in the postfire period; all but four were captured on the edge of the burn but none were recaptured on the burned area.  Colonizers did not enter the burned area until rainfall packed down the deep ash layer.  By 2.5 weeks after the fire, deer mouse numbers were twice the prefire level [123].  Four deer mice marked prior to a prescribed fire in oak savanna were not caught again after the fire; the cause for their absence was unknown (possibilities include fire mortality, predation, death by other causes, and emigration) [120]. HABITAT RELATED FIRE EFFECTS : In many communities deer mice abundance was higher on burned areas than on adjacent unburned areas by the first growing season after fire.  In other communities there was no clear response, and in some communities deer mice decreased after fire.  Deer mice are often the first animals to invade an area that has been burned [3,37,80].  Burned areas often support increased numbers of insects and seeds of annual plants which are beneficial to deer mice [58].  In many reports deer mouse abundance was negatively correlated with amount of litter [52].  Fire in grassland immediately reduces litter and aboveground vegetation; total biomass usually is higher than prefire levels by the summer following a spring prescribed fire [101].  Deer mice in grasslands tend to use burned plots more than adjacent unburned plots [90,101].  In Minnesota tallgrass prairie, prairie deer mouse populations were negatively associated with litter depth; large beetles (a favored food of deer mice) were associated with sparse litter [121].  Fire in ecotones may increase available habitat for prairie deer mice.  In Wisconsin deer mice were only found on frequently burned areas where woodland had been successfully converted to brush-prairie [6]. The success of the deer mouse on burned areas is attributed to its nocturnal habits, erratic movements, tolerance of open space/bare ground, and lack of competition [96].  In California the ratio of deer mice to California mice decreases with succession from grassland created by prescribed fire to mature chaparral [7].  In Yellowstone National Park, deer mice were able to find adequate food the first growing season after wildfire, even though plant cover was less than 10 percent [30].  In Kansas tallgrass prairie deer mice selected recently burned areas over areas that had burned in previous years.  These areas were characterized by a large proportion of exposed soil, lush vegetation, and little or no plant litter [64].  In Arizona ponderosa pine forests, the increased number of deer mice after fire was attributed to increased food and cover in the form of stumps and fallen logs; the highest deer mouse populations occurred in the areas with significantly more cover and forbs [75]. In northern Idaho, deer mice were the most commonly trapped small mammal on the Trapper Peak Burn (in subalpine fir [Abies lasiocarpa)] 3 years after fire [115].  In Kansas tallgrass prairie deer mice increased after fire largely due to immigration from unburned areas.  The positive response to fire was evident by July following an April fire, and continued through the following spring [62,64].  In eastern Oregon grass and forb-dominated flood meadows, deer mouse numbers were higher on control plots than on burned plots the first year following a fall prescribed fire.  Deer mouse numbers were, however, four times greater on burned areas than on control areas the third winter after the fire [27].  In northern California brushfields deer mouse numbers remained relatively constant in burned areas even though the deer mouse population crashed due to drought in control areas [24].  In California chaparral deer mice disappeared immediately after a wildfire, were present within 1 year after the fire, and reached a maximum population the third year after the fire [93]. The frequency of fire affects deer mouse abundance.  In Kansas tallgrass prairie, deer mouse abundance was higher the first year after fire on plots burned every 4 years than on annually burned plots.  The average relative density of deer mice in all 4 years of a 4-year fire cycle was also higher than the average relative density with annual fire [62].  A similar result was obtained in New Brunswick mixed-grass prairie; annual fires resulted in lower deer mouse abundance than fires at longer intervals [110]. Although deer mouse populations generally increase within a year after fire, effects are variable, especially in nonforested habitats.  Lists of reports describing positive, negative, and neutral responses to fire follow. In the following studies, deer mice were more abundant on burned areas than on adjacent unburned areas, or were more abundant on burned areas than on the same area prior to fire.  Numbers in parentheses indicate postfire year(s) of peak deer mouse abundance (numbers in brackets are reference numbers). Grassland and Prairie California:  annual grassland [70] central Wisconsin:  spring prescribed fire in marshland (1) [52] South Dakota:  spring prescribed fire in mixed-grass prairie (1) [37];    2 years after the fire deer mouse numbers had dropped to below    prefire levels [14,15,38] Kansas:  spring and fall prescribed fire in tallgrass prairie (1);    numbers declined to prefire levels by the second year [62] southern Illinois:  plots in annually burned tallgrass prairie had    higher deer mouse densities than unburned plots [100] New Brunswick:  mixed-grass prairie (1) [110] Deciduous woodlands Minnesota:  prescribed fire in bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) savanna    and tallgrass prairie [120] Chaparral and Scrub California:  chaparral (3) [94],  chaparral [7], chaparral; deer mice    were not present in prefire samples,  nor on control plots, but were    common in burned plots (2) [129] Pinyon-Juniper Nevada:  severe prescribed fire reducing pinyon-juniper to grassland (1) [80] Utah:  chained and burned pinyon-juniper (2) [4] Colorado:  pinyon-juniper [32] Sagebrush Nevada:  fall prescribed fire in sagebrush/grass [82] Wyoming:  fall prescribed fire in mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia    tridentata ssp. vaseyana)/grassland (2) [83] Forest Oregon:  clearcut and slash-burned Douglas-fir [58] California:  clearcut and slash-burned Douglas-fir (1) [123] Arizona:  ponderosa pine (1) [75], severe spring wildfire in ponderosa    pine [18] South Dakota:  annual prescribed fire in ponderosa pine and adjacent    grasslands [106] Colorado:  wildfire in lodgepole pine [98] Wyoming:  wildfire in lodgepole pine [113] southeastern  Manitoba:  clearcut and slash-burned jack pine (1) [108] northeastern Minnesota:  cut and burned jack pine stands (1,3) [1] north-central Ontario:  logged and slash-burned upland black spruce    (Picea mariana) and northern hardwoods [78] In the following studies deer mice were less abundant on burned plots than on adjacent unburned plots or were less abundant on burned plots than on the same plots prior to fire: Grassland Illinois:  prescribed fire in restored tallgrass prairie; there was    no resident population of deer mice on adjacent unburned areas to    supply immigrants [112] Chaparral California:  chaparral [70] Sagebrush Washington:  wildfire in antelope bitterbrush-big sagebrush [39] eastern Idaho:  severe wildfire in big sagebrush/grassland; deer    mice used both burned and unburned areas [50] southwestern Idaho:  prescribed fire in shrub-steppe; deer mouse    abundance 1 year after fire was lower on burned and seeded grasslands    than on partially burned or control plots [49] Forest Wyoming:  deer mice were abundant on both burned and unburned coniferous    forest plots; peak abundance occurred in August on unburned plots [109] In the following studies, deer mice showed no preference for either burned or unburned plots: Grassland southeastern Arizona:  big sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii) [13] Minnesota:  fall prescribed fire in tallgrass and shortgrass prairie,    sampled 10 months after the fire [20] Chaparral southern California:  coastal sage scrub [91] FIRE USE : An extensive body of research has been published on fire effects on animals in semidesert grassland, oak savanna, and Madrean oak woodlands of southeastern Arizona, including the response of deer mice to fire. See the Research Project Summary of this work for more information on deer mice and more than 100 additional species of small mammals, birds, grasshoppers, and herbaceous and woody plant species.

References for species: Peromyscus maniculatus


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