Document Type

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Report

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Natural fires are common in coniferous forests in the Rocky Mountains, and one of the largest fires in recent history occurred in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) in 1988 when over a million acres of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) burned. In the summers of 1989, 1990 and 1991 and again in 1997 and 1998, we trapped small mammals in two burned and two adjacent unburned forests in the Huckleberry Mountain fire in the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, 0.5 km north of Grand Teton National Park (GTNP). Here we report on the captures and recaptures of the two most common species of small mammals, the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) and the southern red-backed vole (Clethrionomys gapperi); and analyze retrapping frequency for each species in the burned and unburned forest. Our intent was to test the hypothesis that the probability of recapture is the same for both species in burned and unburned habitats. These capture/recapture data will be used by other co-investigators in additional publications to report on estimated population sizes and microhabitat associations.