The Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei [PMJM]) is a rare rodent of southeastern Wyoming and central Colorado that has been the center of debates regarding subspecies' genetic identity and the application of the Endangered Species Act. I analyzed a 7-year PMJM mark–recapture data set using a temporal symmetry model (Pradel model) to estimate apparent survival (φ), recruitment (f), population change (λ), and vital rate influence on λ. Deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) captures depressed φ, suggesting that competition for resources may decrease PMJM survival. Vole-mediated habitat changes or voles' affinity for quality riparian habitats may explain why PMJM φ and f increased with meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) captures. Based on early-summer and late-summer sampling from 2000 to 2006, λ estimates were 0.87 ± 0.06 SE and 0.87 ± 0.11 SE, respectively, and f had a greater influence on λ than did φ. This PMJM population is losing connectivity to eastern, northern, and southern tributaries from habitat degradation and storm-water and municipal runoff erosion. The loss of the adjoining habitat and the PMJMs that were supported by this habitat prevents new recruitment via immigration. Because of the importance of recruitment to PMJM population stability, tributaries and the riparian habitat along these tributaries are vital to PMJM conservation. Scale-appropriate habitat sampling, assessments of reproductive success, and detailed demographic studies to estimate vital demographic parameters will help identify how particular habitat components impact fecundity and immigration.
Keywords: apparent survival; lambda; population change; Pradel model; Preble's meadow jumping mouse; recruitment; Zapus hudsonius preblei
Journal Article. 7799 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences ; Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology ; Animal Ecology ; Animal Physiology ; Mammalogy
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