Date of this Version
Before more effective and reliable control methods for pine vole populations can be developed, it is essential to increase our knowledge of the pine vole's basic biology and ecology. Former research conducted by Estep et al (1978) and Noffsinger (1976) has demonstrated distinct differences in food habits, physiological condition and reproductive activity of pine voles in active and abandoned orchards. A summary of their findings is presented in Kirkpatrick and Noffsinger (1977). Results from these studies has promoted an interest to more completely define population characteristics of pine voles in these two orchard types. In this manner, it will be possible to enhance our knowledge of this species' response and adaptability to habitats of different vegetative composition, structure and type. Utilizing capture-recapture techniques, we have undertaken a study to examine population structure, density, and movement of pine voles in a maintained and an abandoned orchard. The two orchards are the same ones where Noffsinger (1976) previously collected voles in September 1974 through July 1975. The maintained orchard has had no form of vole control beyond mowing for five years. The other orchard has been completely abandoned for six years. Both orchards are the sane age and have similar topography and soil types.