Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mesene, Peter

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


This experiment was conducted to discover what effect predation, food supplementation, microhabitat, season, and lunar light levels had on the foraging behavior of Peromyscus leucopus in a tall grass prairie. The research was conducted over four nights in the spring and fall of 1995. The pre-existing site contained four predator exclusion plots and four predator access plots. These were used throughout the experiment and the other variables were manipulated at this site. GUDs (giving up densities) were measured to determine the relative foraging levels for each variable. Live trapping census was conducted monthly for the duration of the experiment. Lunar light levels, microhabitat, and season had a strong affect on the foraging behavior of Peromyscus leucopus. The high population in the fall is the most likely explanation for the lower GUDs. GUDs were high during bright nights and on the elevated microhabitat, regardless of predator treatment. These findings raise questions about the motivation for avoidance behaviors in this species. Since they exhibited these behaviors even when predators were not a threat, predation does not completely explain the behaviors. Perhaps they are not a preferred prey, or these behaviors are a fixed aspect of their phenotype that does not change during a short term experiment.


Includes bibliographical references.


12 pages, 9 unnumbered pages




Northern Illinois University

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