Summary Information
Gunnison's Prairie Dog Restoration Experiment (GPDREx): Small Mammal Mark-Recapture Population Assessment within Grasslands at the Sevilleta National Widlife Refuge, New Mexico
Creator:
Individual: Stephanie Baker
Organization: SEV LTER
Phone: (505) 277-8119
Email: srbaker@sevilleta.unm.edu
Associated Party:
Individual: Stephanie Baker
Organization: SEV LTER
Phone: (505) 277-8119
Email: srbaker@sevilleta.unm.edu
Role: data manager
Publication Date: 2015
Language: english
Abstract:
Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are burrowing rodents considered to be ecosystem engineers and keystone species of the central grasslands of North America. Yet, prairie dog populations have declined by an estimated 98% throughout their historic range. This dramatic decline has resulted in the widespread loss of their important ecological role throughout this grassland system. The 92,060 ha Sevilleta NWR in central New Mexico includes more than 54,000 ha of native grassland. Gunnison’s prairie dogs (C. gunnisoni) were reported to occupy ~15,000 ha of what is now the SNWR during the 1960’s, prior to their systematic eradication. In 2010, we collaborated with local agencies and conservation organizations to restore the functional role of prairie dogs to the grassland system. Gunnison’s prairie dogs were reintroduced to a site that was occupied by prairie dogs 40 years ago.  This work is part of a larger, long-term study where we are studying the ecological effects of prairie dogs as they re-colonize the grassland ecosystem. With this project, we would like to further investigate the impact that Gunnison’s prairie dogs have on the landscape.  Gunnison’s prairie dog monitoring data has been collected from the beginning of the reintroduction project, but little information has been collected on how grassland species respond to the sudden presence of prairie dogs on the refuge.This project will help determine if the prairie dog reintroduction has had positive impacts on the grassland ecosystem.  Prairie dogs benefit grasslands in many ways, but their role as ecosystem engineers directly impacts other species by creating new habitat that would not be present without prairie dogs.  We have documented physical landscape changes, but we have not specifically documented benefits to other grassland species.  This work will help determine if the reintroduced prairie dog populations on Sevilleta NWR are now acting as a keystone species in a grassland ecosystem by monitoring small mammal populations to see if species richness, diversity, and density are different on prairie dog colonized areas versus non-colonized areas.
Keywords:
Keyword: populations
Keyword Thesaurus: Core Areas
Additional Information:
This data is collected each summer, starting in 2013, by an student in the Sevilleta LTER Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer Program.  Ear tagging started taking place in the summer of 2014.Data Collector HistoryTy Werdel 2013Betsy Black and Andrew Velselka 2014
Intellectual Rights:
Data Policies
This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example below. Muldavin, E. 2004. Sevilleta LTER Fertilizer NPP Study Dataset. Albuquerque, NM: Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research Site Database: SEV155. (Date of download) A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager.
Distribution:
Online:
URL: http://sev.lternet.edu/node/7269
Coverage:
Geographic Goverage:
Geographic Description: Location: The study area is about 655 ha (~2.5 sq mi) in size and approximately 1 km due west from the foothills of the Los Pinos Mountains. The study is also just north of the Blue Grama Core Site.The center of plot B is:  -106.628  34.333The center of plot D is:   -106.636   34.324Soils: sandy loam and sandy clay loam, History: historically large prairie dog colonies inhabited the study area, siteid: 49
Bounding Coordinates:
West Bounding Coordinates: -106.628
East Bounding Coordinates: -106.628
North Bounding Coordinates: 34.333
South Bounding Coordinates: 34.333
Bounding Altitude:
Altitude Minimum: 1670
Altitude Maximum: 1670
Altitude Units: meter
Temporal Coverage:
Date Range:
Begin Date:
Calendar Date: 2013-12-12
End Date:
Calendar Date: 2014-06-27
Contact:
Position Title: Information Manager
Organization: LTER Network Office
Physical Address:
Delivery Address: UNM Biology Department, MSC03-2020
Delivery Address: 1 University of New Mexico
City: Albuquerque
Locality: NM
Postal Code: 87131-0001
Phone: USA
Phone: 505 277-2535
Phone: 505 277-2541
Email: tech-support@lternet.edu
URL: http://www.lternet.edu
Contact:
Individual: Information Manager Sevilleta LTER
Organization: SEV LTER
Physical Address:
Delivery Address: 1 University of New Mexico
City: Albuquerque
Postal Code: 87131
Phone: (505) 277-2109
Phone: (505) 277.5355
Email: data-use@sevilleta.unm.edu
Publication Place: Sevilleta LTER
Method Step:
Description:
Trapping Location and Design:Trapping will be done on the 16ha Prairie Dog Relocation Study Plots.  There are 4 of them- A, B, C, and D.  Each plot will have 169 traps placed in a grid covering 9 hectares. Using the vegetation quad map, there will be a trap placed at 1 meter to the north at each of the following vegetation plots 11-17, 20-26, 29-35, 38-44, 47-53, 56-62, 65-71.  This accounts for 49 of the traps.  There will also be a trap placed in between each veg plot, with rows running North/South, which accounts for 42 more of the traps.  Then making a complete row in between the North/South vegetation quad rows, will account for the remaining 78 traps. To locate the veg plots, each are marked with a rebar and short white PVC.  There is a numbered tag on each PVC corresponding to the map.Flag each trap with a numbered pin flag to designate trap numbers.   This is important in ensuring that all traps are checked and closed each day.Trapping Periods:Trapping period will be one plot a week for 4 nights.Trapping Procedure:The traps are set each evening for four nights.  This entails setting and baiting the traps at a given locality on Monday afternoon, then checking the traps at dawn on Tuesday (night 1), Wednesday (night 2), Thursday (night 3), and Friday (night 4). Each trap is baited with a handful of steamed, crimped oats tossed into the trap after it is placed on the ground; a few oats are left outside the trap entrance to entice passers-by.  The ground needs to be smoothed out with a foot to make sure that the trap is level and not unbalanced.  Each morning, traps are checked as follows:  the worker walks up and down the transects and closes open traps as you go along.  Traps are not reopened until the late afternoon/early evening, at which time additional bait is also put in.  When a closed trap is encountered, it is first checked to see if an animal is present by carefully and just slightly opening the door of the trap and looking inside.  Be aware that kangaroo rats can jump out while doing this, so use caution. Sometimes, although a trap may appear empty, a tiny rodent may be hiding under the treadle (especially in the large traps).  To check for this, one must reach into the trap and lightly push down the treadle.  If the treadle will not go down, there is likely a mouse underneath.  If no animal is in the trap, the trap is left closed until the afternoon. If a trap has an animal, the worker processes the animal at the stake and takes the relevant data.  While checking for animals on Friday morning (night four), traps are picked up, emptied of seed, and returned to storage boxes, ready for placement at another locality the following week.  Importantly, traps MUST BE counted as they are placed into storage boxes in order to insure that no traps (or animals) are left on the plot.  If rain falls on the baited traps, they may require cleaning and drying back at the field station before storage or use the following week.Animal Processing:Removing rodents from trapFor each capture, the trap number is recorded first.  Next, a given animal is shaken from the trap into a plastic gallon ziploc bag.  This is accomplished by wrapping the opening of the ziploc bag over the door end of the trap. Make sure that they bag is tight so the rodent can’t squeeze out between the bag and the trap.  Open the front door through the bag and lock open.  Roll the trap upside down and swing it in an arc downward.  As soon at the rodent enters the bag, close the bag off with your hand so the rodent cannot reenter the trap.  With kangaroo rats, you often do not need to shake the trap to get the animals out.  Instead, put the Ziploc bag on trap as normal and open trap door, but hold the trap angled upward instead of down and the rodent should come out on its own.  Hold tight on the bag though because sometimes they come out rather quickly.If a trap is triggered, but appears empty, don’t assume there is no animal in trap.  Small species such as pocket mice can hide under the treadle.  Make sure and lightly press down on the treadle to make sure it goes all of the way down.  If not then there is most likely a rodent under treadle.  You can also open up the back door to look under treadle, but use caution as to not let rodent escape.If another animal (lizard, bird, rabbit, prairie dog) is caught in the trap, they can simply be released.  However, make sure and mark on data sheet that the trap was closed due to bird/lizard/rabbit.  If you do find a trap that was triggered by wind or large animal and is in fact empty, make sure and mark on the datasheet that that trap number was triggered but empty.Handling and Processing rodentsIn the bag, the processor positions the rodent with its head in the corner of the bag.  Hold its head down with one hand from the outside of the bag, pressing gently on the back of the skull.  Then reach in the bag with the other hand and grasp the animal with the thumb and forefingers by the loose skin around the back of the neck and shoulders, and then remove it for inspection. First off check to see if the rodent is tagged or marked.  If it is then you will mark that individual as a recapture on data sheet.  After recording the ear tag number or other marking and the species of animal, it can be released.  If it is not marked, then it will need to be marked and processed.Dipodomys spp, Onychomys spp, Neotoma spp, Peromyscus spp, and any other large species you may catch will be uniquely marked with one ear tag.  Ear tags should be placed at the very base of the ear on its interior edge (or the front of the ear).  Putting it on the external side or back of the ear allows the rodent to rip the ear tag off more easily, by scratching at it with its hind legs. Other species such as, Perognathus spp, Spermophilus spp, and other small rodents that have too small of ears to place an ear tag, will be marked with sequential individual numbers on their chest, using permanent markers.  A different color must be used for each night (blue for 1st night, black for 2nd night, and red for 3rd night).  Small rodents do not need to be marked the 4th night,  but large rodents do need to be ear tagged.  Start with number 1 and increase as necessary for catches.Next, each animal is identified to species, sexed, and aged.  Specific measurements are taken only for those genera which required them for species identification:            Peromyscus: Total length, tail, foot, ear;            Onychomys:  Total length, tail, foot.            Perognathus, and Reithrodontomys: Total length, tail.All measurements are taken to the nearest millimeter using a plastic ruler.  The species is recorded by a 4-letter code that represents the first 2 letters of the genus and the first 2 letters of the species.Sex and reproductive status is then determined by examination of the genitalia (lactating/vaginal/pregnant/scrotal).  Look for enlarged scrotum, enlarged nipples, or an enlarged vaginal opening.  If none of these are apparent, then the rodent is non-reproductive. Females will still have visible nipples when non-reproductive.ADULT MALES reproductive status: -Scrotal (ST): the scrotum can be fully enlarged or partially enlarged.- Non-reproductive (N)ADULT FEMALES reproductive status: -Vaginal (V): in estrus; vagina is obviously swollen and looks large and puckered, vaginal plug can be present or absent-Pregnant (P):  heavier weight, can palpate babies-Lactating (L): nipples (at least one) reddish and/or enlarged-Non-reproductive (N)Before releasing the individual, it is then weighed to the nearest gram, using a Pesola scale clipped to the base of the animal’s tail.   Larger animals can easily get off of scale so it is easier to put them back in the bag and weigh them inside the bag.  Make sure and weigh bag after rodent is released and subtract from first weight to get actual weight of rodent.Animals which perished during captivity on plots are noted in the comments on field data sheets as 'D.I.T' (Dead In Trap).
Data Table:
Entity Name: sev239_REUrodenttrapping_20150105.txt
Entity Description: Data set for sev239.
Object Name: sev239_REUrodenttrapping_20150105.txt
Data Format:
Text Format:
Number of Header Lines: 1
Record Delimiter: \r\n
Attribute Orientation: column
Simple Delimited:
Field Delimiter: ,
Distribution:
Online:
URL: https://pasta.lternet.edu/package/data/eml/knb-lter-sev/239/210383/eaad5711ad7bf0eadf1ee3328614e41d
Coverage:
Geographic Goverage:
Geographic Description: Location: The study area is about 655 ha (~2.5 sq mi) in size and approximately 1 km due west from the foothills of the Los Pinos Mountains. The study is also just north of the Blue Grama Core Site.The center of plot B is:  -106.628  34.333The center of plot D is:   -106.636   34.324Soils: sandy loam and sandy clay loam, History: historically large prairie dog colonies inhabited the study area, siteid: 49
Bounding Coordinates:
West Bounding Coordinates: -106.628
East Bounding Coordinates: -106.628
North Bounding Coordinates: 34.333
South Bounding Coordinates: 34.333
Bounding Altitude:
Altitude Minimum: 1670
Altitude Maximum: 1670
Altitude Units: meter
Temporal Coverage:
Date Range:
Begin Date:
Calendar Date: 2013-06-04
End Date:
Calendar Date: 2013-06-27
Attribute List:
Attribute Name: date
Attribute Label: date
Attribute Definition: Date sample was taken.
Storage Type: date
Measurement Scale:
Datetime:
Format String: MM/DD/YYYY
Attribute Name: plot
Attribute Label: plot
Attribute Definition: The plot at which data was collected.
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Text Domain:
Definition: The plot at which data was collected.
Attribute Name: night
Attribute Label: night
Attribute Definition: The night that the trapping was done
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Text Domain:
Definition: The night that the trapping was done
Attribute Name: trap
Attribute Label: trap
Attribute Definition: The numbered tag on rebar adjacent to the trap
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Text Domain:
Definition: The numbered tag on rebar adjacent to the trap
Attribute Name: recap
Attribute Label: recap
Attribute Definition: An indication if the animal was a recapture or not
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Enumerated Domain:
Code Definition:
Code: y
Definition: a recapture from that week only
Code Definition:
Code: n
Definition: not a recapture
Attribute Name: tag_number
Attribute Label: tag_number
Attribute Definition: Tag number that identifies animal.
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Enumerated Domain:
Code Definition:
Code: L#
Definition: left ear tag
Code Definition:
Code: R#
Definition: right ear tag
Code Definition:
Code: BU#
Definition: blue sharpie number (night 1)
Code Definition:
Code: BA#
Definition: black sharpie number (night 2)
Code Definition:
Code: RE#
Definition: red sharpie number (night 3)
Attribute Name: species
Attribute Label: species
Attribute Definition: Four letter code for small mammal species.
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Enumerated Domain:
Code Definition:
Code: amin
Definition: Ammospermophilus interpres
Code Definition:
Code: amle
Definition: Ammospermophilus leucurus
Code Definition:
Code: eudo
Definition: Eutamias dorsalis
Code Definition:
Code: euqu
Definition: Eutamias quadrivittatus
Code Definition:
Code: spsp
Definition: Spermophilus spilosoma
Code Definition:
Code: spva
Definition: Spermophilus variegatus
Code Definition:
Code: chin
Definition: Chetodipus intermedius
Code Definition:
Code: pgfl
Definition: Perognathus flavescens
Code Definition:
Code: pgfv
Definition: Perognathus flavus
Code Definition:
Code: pgsp
Definition: Perognathus sp.
Code Definition:
Code: dime
Definition: Dipodomys merriami
Code Definition:
Code: dior
Definition: Dipodomys ordii
Code Definition:
Code: disp
Definition: Dipodomys spectabilis
Code Definition:
Code: dipo
Definition: Dipodomys sp.
Code Definition:
Code: neal
Definition: Neotoma albigula
Code Definition:
Code: nemi
Definition: Neotoma micropus
Code Definition:
Code: nesp
Definition: Neotoma sp.
Code Definition:
Code: onar
Definition: Onychomys arenicola
Code Definition:
Code: onle
Definition: Onychomys leucogaster
Code Definition:
Code: onsp
Definition: Onychomys sp.
Code Definition:
Code: pebo
Definition: Peromyscus boylii
Code Definition:
Code: pedi
Definition: Peromyscus difficilis
Code Definition:
Code: peer
Definition: Peromyscus eremicus
Code Definition:
Code: pele
Definition: Peromyscus leucopus
Code Definition:
Code: pema
Definition: Peromyscus maniculatus
Code Definition:
Code: petr
Definition: Peromyscus truei
Code Definition:
Code: pesp
Definition: Peromyscus sp.
Code Definition:
Code: remg
Definition: Reithrodontomys megalotis
Code Definition:
Code: remn
Definition: Reithrodontomys montanus
Code Definition:
Code: resp
Definition: Reithrodontomys sp.
Code Definition:
Code: sihi
Definition: Sigmodon hispidus
Code Definition:
Code: syau
Definition: Sylvilagus auduboni
Code Definition:
Code: na
Definition: unknown genus and species
Attribute Name: sex
Attribute Label: sex
Attribute Definition: Gender of animal (M or F)
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Text Domain:
Definition: Gender of animal (M or F)
Attribute Name: age
Attribute Label: age
Attribute Definition: Estimated from animal's weight.
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Enumerated Domain:
Code Definition:
Code: a
Definition: adult
Code Definition:
Code: j
Definition: juvenile
Attribute Name: reprod
Attribute Label: reprod
Attribute Definition: Reproductive condition of capture
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Enumerated Domain:
Code Definition:
Code: l
Definition: lactating
Code Definition:
Code: v
Definition: vaginal
Code Definition:
Code: p
Definition: pregnant
Code Definition:
Code: st
Definition: scrotal
Code Definition:
Code: na
Definition: none of the former or not taken
Attribute Name: mass
Attribute Label: mass
Attribute Definition: mass of captured rodent in grams
Measurement Scale:
Ratio:
Unit:
Standard Unit: gram
Precision: 0.5
Numeric Domain:
Number Type: real
Attribute Name: comments
Attribute Label: comments
Attribute Definition: Additional statements regarding an observation.
Storage Type: string
Measurement Scale:
Nominal:
Non Numeric Domain:
Enumerated Domain:
Code Definition:
Code: na
Definition: not applicable