Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


A study was initiated to examine animal damage to new shelterbelts in Brookings County, South Dakota. Feeding preferences of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) prairie voles (Microtus ochragaster), and cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) was conducted on 5 woody species that colIIIllonly occur in South Dakota shelterbelts. Movementsof deer mice were studied in a mature shelterbelt using a smoked kymograph tracking technique. Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.), tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica L. ),, and common lilac (Syringa vulgaris L.) were the most common tree species encountered in this study. Of the trees examined, 398 (8. 9%) sustained animal damage over the winter. Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera Michx.), received significantly more damage than the other species. Conifer trees received significantly less damage than deciduous trees. Branch damage occurred on 170 of the damaged trees. Rabbits fed on 77. 8% of the trees that received damage. There was a significant difference in the amount of feeding between deer mice and prairie voles in laboratory studies. The rodents preferred honeysuckle and avoided ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws. ) . Rabbits preferred Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila L.) and honeysuckle and avoided ponderosa pine. Average home range size was 0. 06 hectares. Movement occurred more on the ground and lower elevations in trees compared to levels at higher elevations. At higher elevations deer mice moved significantly more in green ash and hackberry (Celtis occidentalis L. ) than other tree species.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Voles -- Feeding and feeds
Cottontails -- Feeding and feeds
Mice -- Feeding and feeds
Windbreaks, shelterbelts, etc -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 32-36)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only