Distribution of Selected Small Mammals in Alberta ... Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard...

download Distribution of Selected Small Mammals in Alberta ... Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University),

If you can't read please download the document

  • date post

    16-Jul-2020
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    0
  • download

    0

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Distribution of Selected Small Mammals in Alberta ... Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard...

  • Distribution of Selected Small Mammals

    in Alberta

    Alberta Species at Risk Report No. 12

  • Distribution of Selected Small Mammals

    in Alberta

    Lance Engley Michael Norton

    Alberta Species at Risk Report No. 12

    April 2001

    Project Partners:

  • ii

    Publication No. I/015 ISBN: 0-7785-1775-6 (Printed Edition) ISBN: 0-7785-1776-4 (On-line Edition) ISSN: 1496-7219 (Printed Edition) ISSN: 1496-7146 (On-line Edition)

    Illustration: Brian Huffman

    For copies of this report, contact:

    Information Centre – Publications Alberta Environment / Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Main Floor, Great West Life Building 9920 108 Street Edmonton, Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

    Telephone: (780) 422-2079

    OR

    Information Service Alberta Environment / Alberta Sustainable Resource Development #100, 3115 12 Street NE Calgary, Alberta Canada T2E 7J2

    Telephone: (403) 297-3362

    This publication may be cited as:

    Engley, L., and M. Norton. 2001. Distribution of selected small mammals in Alberta. Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Fish and Wildlife Service, Alberta Species at Risk Report No. 12. Edmonton, AB. 75 pp.

  • iii

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................iv

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY..............................................................................................................v

    1.0 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................... 1

    2.0 STUDY AREA......................................................................................................................... 1

    3.0 METHODS............................................................................................................................... 1

    4.0 RESULTS................................................................................................................................. 2

    Prairie Shrew (Sorex haydeni)..................................................................................................... 3

    Wandering Shrew (Sorex vagrans)............................................................................................. 5

    Long-eared Bat (Myotis evotis)................................................................................................... 7

    Long-legged Bat (Myotis volans)................................................................................................ 9

    Western Small-footed Bat (Myotis ciliolabrum)....................................................................... 11

    Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) .................................................................................................. 13

    Franklin’s Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus franklinii).............................................................. 15

    Olive-backed Pocket Mouse (Perognathus fasciatus) .............................................................. 17

    Western Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis)............................................................. 19

    Northern Grasshopper Mouse (Onychomys leucogaster) ......................................................... 21

    Taiga Vole (Microtus xanthognathus)...................................................................................... 23

    Prairie Vole (Microtus ochrogaster)......................................................................................... 25

    Water Vole (Microtus richardsoni)........................................................................................... 27

    Sagebrush Vole (Lemmiscus curtatus)...................................................................................... 29

    Brown Lemming (Lemmus sibiricus)........................................................................................ 31

    5.0 DISCUSSION........................................................................................................................ 33

    6.0 MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS .................................. 33

    7.0 LITERATURE CITED .......................................................................................................... 34

    APPENDIX 1. Alberta species records........................................................................................ 37

  • iv

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    Thank you to the agencies whose generous funding made this project possible: Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta Fisheries and Wildlife Management Division, Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation and BP Amoco. We would also like to thank the following individuals who patiently answered numerous questions regarding museum specimens and added a great deal of information to this report: Andrew Cabrinovic (The Natural History Museum), Michel Gosselin (Canadian Museum of Nature), Craig Ludwig (National Museum of Natural History), Wayne Roberts (University of Alberta Museum of Zoology), Maria Rutzmoser (Museum of Comparative Zoology), Bill Weimann (Provincial Museum of Alberta) and Susan Woodward (Royal Ontario Museum). Thanks also go out to Michel Gosselin, who provided field notes from some early museum collectors, Tim Schowalter for all of his input and for additional unpublished data, Kevin van Tighem for providing information from the Waterton Lakes National Park Ecological Land Classification and Gordon Court (Alberta Fisheries and Wildlife Management Division) for providing unpublished information from the pending 2000 wildlife status review. Steve Brechtel (Alberta Fisheries and Wildlife Management Division), Gordon Court, Isabelle Michaud (Alberta Conservation Association), Tim Schowalter and Bill Wishart provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of this report. Thanks also to Nyree Sharp (Alberta Fisheries and Wildlife Management Division) for editing the final draft.

    Finally, thanks to all the individuals who provided information from their museum collections for this report: Paul Sweet - American Museum of Natural History (New York), Michel Gosselin - Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa), Suzanne McLaren - Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Pittsburgh), Dr. Bill Stanley - The Field Museum (Chicago), Laurie Wilkins - Florida Museum of Natural History (University of Florida), Jack Dubois - Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, Janis Klapecki - Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, Maria Rutzmoser - Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (University of California at Berkeley), Craig Ludwig - National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institute), Andrew Cabrinovic - The Natural History Museum (London), Dr. Jocelyn Hudon - Provincial Museum of Alberta, Dr. Bruce McGillivray - Provincial Museum of Alberta, Bill Weimann - Provincial Museum of Alberta, David Green - Redpath Museum (McGill University), Lesley Kennes - Royal British Columbia Museum, Susan Woodward - Royal Ontario Museum, Jackie Wilke - Royal Tyrrell Museum (Drumheller), Wayne Roberts - University of Alberta Museum of Zoology, Jim Whittome - University of Alberta Museum of Zoology, Dr. Gary Bortolotti - University of Saskatchewan Museum of Natural Sciences, Dr. Karen Wiebe - University of Saskatchewan Museum of Natural Sciences.

    Note: The University of Calgary Zoology Museum was contacted; however, their collection information was not available.

    This project was completed when the Fisheries and Wildlife Management Division was part of Alberta Environment; this division is now part of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

  • v

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    The status and distribution of many of Alberta’s small mammals is unknown. This report summarizes the information available on 15 of these species, as a step in updating their status for The General Status of Alberta Wild Species 2000 (In prep.).

    Much of the information in this report was gathered from North American museums. Additional data were collected from reports that contained, at a minimum, quantitative data for locations and date, as well as reliable species identification. Much of this information was gathered from studies which analyzed small mammal remains found in owl pellets. In total, over 1000 records were amassed from the various sources. All of these observations have been stored in the Biodiversity/Species Observation Database.

    In other studies, researchers have found analyzing owl pellets to be a valuable technique for collecting data on small mammals. It has proven to be a cost effective, reliable method of data capture, and efforts should be made to continue this research in the future.

  • 1

    1.0 INTRODUCTION

    Every five years, the Fisheries and Wildlife Management Division of Alberta Natural Resources Service reviews the status of wildlife species in Alberta. These overviews, which have been conducted in 1991 and 1996, assign individual species to specific lists that reflect the perceived level of risk to populations that occur in the province.

    Very little is known about the status and distribution of many of Alberta’s small mammals. Often, museum specimens are the only reliable source of information on the occurrence and distribution of many of these species, because some species can only be reliably identified through careful inspection in the hand. Recent work analyzing the remains of small mammals found in owl pellets has also proved to be a reliable and effective means of sa