Lemmings construct nests of grass and moss under the snow during winter, and counting these nests in spring is 1 method of obtaining an index of winter density and habitat use. We counted winter nests after snow melt on fixed grids on 5 areas scattered across the Canadian Arctic and compared these nest counts to population density estimated by mark–recapture on the same areas in spring and during the previous autumn. Collared lemmings were a common species in most areas, some sites had an abundance of brown lemmings, and only 2 sites had tundra voles. Winter nest counts were correlated with lemming densities estimated in the following spring (rs = 0.80, P < 0.001), but less well correlated with densities the previous autumn (rs = 0.55, P < 0.001). Winter nest counts can be used to predict spring lemming densities with a log-log regression that explains 64% of the observed variation. Winter nest counts are best treated as an approximate index and should not be used when precise, quantitative lemming density estimates are required. Nest counts also can be used to provide general information about habitat-use in winter, predation rates by weasels, and the extent of winter breeding.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 93 • No. 1