2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Home Range Size of the White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) and its Relationship with Tick Load (Dermacentor variabilis)
Georgia S. Mueller* and Tad A. Dallas
Dr. Laura Fielden, Dr. Stephanie Fore, and Dr. Hyun-Joo Kim, Faculty Mentors

Ecological interactions of host and parasite are important and complex. The white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) is an important host of the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis). Larval stages parasitize almost exclusively mice even though there are other available hosts, and it has been observed that the number of ticks varies. The goal of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between home range size of host and parasite load. Data for this study come from several different monitoring projects on the University Farm. P. leucopus were sampled using capture-recapture with traps arranged in a grid system. Home range size of P. leucopus individuals were estimated by Minimum Convex Polygon and Kernel methods. Negative binomial regression suggests that there was no significant relationship between home range size and parasite load. However, this result may be due to the small number of recapture data (5 to7 recaptures per mouse).

Keywords: Peromyscus leucopus, Dermacentor variabilis, Home range, kernal, Minimum convex polygon, parasites, ticks

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 55-3
Location: VH 1328
Time: 3:15

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