The selection of a suitable nest (den) site should enhance individual survival and reproduction. We examined the effects of forage quality, vegetative cover, presence of preexisting underground nests, vole population density, and presence of conspecific nests on nest-site selection of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Vegetative characteristics did not predict the presence of nests; the only significant predictor was population density. Additionally, the presence of other currently occupied nests did not seem to affect placement of nests. In contrast to our expectation, voles did not nest in areas with preexisting underground nests. The presence of preexisting underground nests may have reduced the effects of vegetation on nest-site selection.
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