Document Type

Grand Teton National Park Report

First Page


Last Page



A variety of hypotheses has been proposed to explain multiannual fluctuations in population density ("cycles") of small rodents (for reviews see Finerty 1980, Taitt and Krebs 1985). Doubtless, such cycles - known since antiquity (Elton 1942) - result from an interaction of a multitude of factors. However, the inability of extant hypotheses, alone or in combination, to explain the causality of cycles rests in no small measure with the fact that long-term studies of the phenomenon are notoriously uncommon. The objectives of this project are to continue the long-term study of population dynamics of the montane vole, Microtus montanus, in Grand Teton National Park. Earlier observations (Pinter 1986, 1988) indicate that environmental variables might contribute to the population density cycles of these rodents, possibly by influencing their growth and various aspects of their reproduction.