Fecal corticosteroid levels in free-living populations of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi)

James M. Harper, Steven N. Austad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fecal corticosteroid levels were monitored in free-living populations of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) in North-Central Idaho. Sex, reproductive condition and age had no significant effect on fecal corticosteroid level in either species, but fecal corticosteroid levels were significantly higher in deer mice than red-backed voles regardless of sex or age. These data are consistent with the plasma corticosterone level profile exhibited by wild-caught individuals of both species maintained in captivity. In addition, for deer mice estimated population size was significantly correlated with fecal corticosteroid levels. Overall, these data clearly indicate the utility of fecal corticosteroid measures in assessing the adrenal status of wild populations of rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-409
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume152
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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