Rapid recovery of rodent populations following severe drought

Robert D. Bradley, J. Delton Hanson, Brian R. Amman, B. Dnate Baxter, Darin S. Carroll, Nevin D. Durish, Michelle L. Haynie, Mariko Kageyama, Lisa K. Longhofer, Francisca M. Mendez-Harclerode, Serena A. Reeder, John R. Suchecki, Donald C. Ruthven, Maria N.B. Cajimat, Ciro Milazzo, Mary L. Milazzo, Charles F. Fulhorst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Below normal precipitation during June 2001 through June 2002 was recorded at Chaparral Wildlife Management Area, near Catarina, Texas. This drought was followed by a 13-mo period (July 2002 through July 2003) of above average precipitation, providing an opportunity to examine the response of 5 species of rodents to drought conditions. Comparison of the number of unique individuals captured during the drought to the post-drought revealed a significant increase in the total number of individuals (approximately 500%) and in the number of individuals per species. A 3-mo lag time was observed between the end of the drought and the onset of population recovery. Although an increase in population size was anticipated as precipitation patterns returned to normal, the magnitude and rapidity of the recovery exceeded predictions and documented the resilience of rodents to adverse climatic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


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