Knowledge of animal movement is fundamental to several biological disciplines, including wildlife conservation, yet animal movement remains one of the least understood behaviors and is critical for establishing and implementing effective management strategies. Thus, our goal was to compare the spatial, temporal, and biological factors that may influence the home ranges of Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei), a federally threatened subspecies with relatively little known about its movement behavior. We radiotracked 187 individuals for 3 monthly sessions from 1998 to 2002 at 3 sites with varying hydrologic and vegetation characteristics in Colorado. A nonparametric kernel home-range estimator, local convex hull (LoCoH), was applied to estimate 50% and 95% home-range sizes for each individual. The 50% home ranges varied by session, site, and annual precipitation (P < 0.05). The broader, 95% home ranges were influenced by session and sex (P < 0.001) and slightly influenced by year. The 95% home ranges for males (X¯ = 6,342 m2, SE = 520 m2) were greater than for females (X¯ = 4,026 m2, SE = 358 m2). Individuals located at the site with the widest 100-year floodplain used twice the area compared to those at the 2 narrower 100-year floodplain sites. This information improves our ability to design management strategies to conserve and restore populations of Z. h. preblei by increasing our understanding of how biological, spatial, temporal, and environmental factors may influence movement patterns and ultimately persistence of this subspecies.
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Vol. 93 • No. 2