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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Life history of the creeping vole, Nicrotus Oregani Serpens Merriam Merry, Margaret Gertrude

Abstract

A study of the biology of the vole, Microtus oregoni serpens, was carried on on the campus of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. It was undertaken for a full calendar year and included field study consisting of an examination of the area for preferred habitats, for types of cuttings and for types of runways. This was supplemented by laboratory examination of snap trapped animals for ectoparasites and for the condition of the reproductive systems. Captive animals were studied to obtain additional information on their reproductive biology and habits. In some respects, M.o. serpens was found to be similar to other species of Microtus, such as M.agrestis. In both cases the female has a post parturient heat and a. lactation anestrum, and was also found to control the length of the breeding season. The age of reaching sexual maturity is somewhat similar. The activity pattern is also similar in that both show increased activity at night. M.o. serpens differs from the other species of Microtus in having a longer gestation period and in having smaller litters. In the area studied, this vole was found to be an animal of the forest edge and seral stages.

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