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Grand Teton National Park Report

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This study is a continuation of investigations conducted at Huckleberry Mountain to determine the effect of the 1988 Greater Yellowstone fire on the small mammal community, and document changes in this community over the 22 years since this natural disturbance. Previous research was conducted in 1993, 1994, 1997, and 1998 and we sampled the same communities in 2009 and again in 2010 using the identical sampling methodology. During the summer of 2010 we live trapped 252 Southern Red-backed Vole (Myodes gapperi), 57 North American Deermouse (Peromyscus maniculatu), 22 Least Chipmunk (Tamias minimus), 12 Western Jumping Mouse (Zapus princeps), four Montane Vole (Microtus montanus), one Northern Pocket Gopher (Thomomys talpoides), four Cinereus Shrew (Sorex cinereus), and five Dusky Shrew (S. monticolus). These results are similar to our results from 2009 and corroborate findings from other investigations indicating early dominance of P. maniculatus in burned forests and M. gapperi in control unburned areas. M. gapperi and P. maniculatus accounted for the majority (87%) of captures. In addition more M. gapperi were found in control sites than P. maniculatus, and as the burned habitat recovers over time, the relative numbers of P. maniculatus are decreasing, and the number of M. gapperi are increasing, suggesting that the burned habitats are returning to a more natural pre-disturbance community structure. However, community diversity indices (which include all mammal species and their relative proportions) suggest that there are still considerable differences between burned and unburned sites. Despite the numbers of voles and deermice changing over time (as predicted), the burned and control small mammal communities are still quite different from one another even after 22 years.