Taye Teferi

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


I used mark-recapture techniques to study the dispersal and settlement pattern of Peromyscus maniculatus in a seasonal environment. In this study, spanning three breeding seasons (1989-1991), I had three objectives.;First, I tested the hypothesis that philopatry was female-biased. Natural populations of P. maniculatus were monitored on two live-trapping grids. Resident mice born to known dams had their dispersal distance estimated based on the distance between the geometric centres of their natal home ranges and those of their own. Mice with home ranges overlapping or abutting their natal range were considered philopatric; those whose ranges did not overlap or about their natal ranges were considered dispersers. Philopatry was female-biased, supporting the hypothesis.;Second, I examined the effects of adults on the recruitment and settlement of young. Recruitment and settlement of young mice was monitored by continuous live-trapping on adult female removal and adult male removal grids. Removal of adults did not significantly affect the recruitment, residency or dispersal of young born to known dams. However, removal of adults resulted in increased immigration and settlement of same sex young especially in males. This suggested that immigration by young males into established populations was restricted due to agonistic behaviour by resident adult males.;Finally, I tested the hypothesis that increased food availability would result in a higher probability of juvenile philopatry. Live-trapping grids were provided with supplemental food consisting of oats, sunflower seeds and laboratory chow from May through August. Young on food-supplemented grids dispersed further from their natal sites than those in control populations. Among food-supplemented young, males dispersed further than females. This sex difference was maintained among adults during the subsequent year. Provision of food appeared to encourage independent young to travel away from their natal site.;Regardless of treatment type, level of philopatry by young was high in this population of P. maniculatus. Adults appeared to exclude unfamiliar young while tolerating young that were familiar (including kin). I conclude that the social organization of P. maniculatus in the Kananaskis Valley is characterized by predominant juvenile philopatry and low parent-progeny (adult-familiar young) conflict.



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