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Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721252
11/18/22 08:38 PM
11/18/22 08:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,071
McGrath, AK
W
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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Posts: 34,071
McGrath, AK
Originally Posted by Gulo
Originally Posted by white17
The first year on my trapline the voles were so thick that their noises kept me awake at night. All that squeaking...............you would think that remaining quiet would be a better form of defense



white17 -

Were they singing voles (Microtus miurus)??


Pretty sure they were not Singers. They were a lot smaller than M. miurus


They might have been Microtus bigmouthus


Mean As Nails
Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721258
11/18/22 08:45 PM
11/18/22 08:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 16,651
OH
Catch22 Offline
trapper
Catch22  Offline
trapper

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 16,651
OH
I give credit to where it's do. This to me is nothing short of spectacular. Wonderful.

[Linked Image]


I wonder if tap dancers walk into a room, look at the floor, and think, I'd tap that. I wonder about things.....
Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721260
11/18/22 08:48 PM
11/18/22 08:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,075
Manitoba
N
Northof50 Offline
trapper
Northof50  Offline
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N

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,075
Manitoba
Beeverpeeler PM me so we can get some of those fleas in the collection to the University of Manitoba.

When you do small mammal trapping you can always see the different coloured scat green= meadow voles, black was Red backed because of all the fungi eaten, smell in the scat was a Short tailed shrew

Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721268
11/18/22 08:56 PM
11/18/22 08:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 1,673
Wy
G
Giant Sage Offline
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Posts: 1,673
Wy
If that's Purslane that vole has good taste.

Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721286
11/18/22 09:16 PM
11/18/22 09:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 9,999
Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
Sharon Offline
"American Honey"
Sharon  Offline
"American Honey"

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 9,999
Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
I didn't know voles could sing. If Microtus bigmouthus is anything like the Grasshopper mouse, that would be something to hear
grin

N50, you nevah disappoint !

Thanks Catch. Not Jack's marmots but a close cousin.

Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721319
11/18/22 09:46 PM
11/18/22 09:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,309
Oregon
beaverpeeler Offline
trapper
beaverpeeler  Offline
trapper

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Posts: 8,309
Oregon
There's actually two species of oversized fleas that mountain beaver are hosts to. It takes an expert to tell them apart but I think both are about the size of a grain of wheat.


Beaver will shine again!
Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721374
11/18/22 11:24 PM
11/18/22 11:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,075
Manitoba
N
Northof50 Offline
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Northof50  Offline
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Manitoba
We have some larvae of those fleas species but not the slide mounted specimens

Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: martentrapper] #7721725
11/19/22 01:23 PM
11/19/22 01:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,100
Idaho, Lemhi County
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Gulo Offline OP
"On The Other Hand"
Gulo  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by martentrapper
What about yellow cheek voles, gulo? Hear about those after a fire.
Do you have specific areas you trap for microtines and has that trapping proved to forecast high or low fur catches?
White, how many times have you had a little guy run over your face in the middle of the night?


martentrapper -

Yes yellowcheeks can be quite abundant after a good fire. Even then, they seem to be in pockets.

At least in Interior Alaska, I tried to get at least a thousand trapnights (museum special snaptraps) in at least 15 diffferent areas to give me an idea of abundance of voles. Found out after a couple of years that it was not needed to have lots of different areas. The Microtine highs and lows were widespread. That is, if vole numbers were high on the Steese, they were high in Salcha, in Minto, on the Richardson. If they were low, it again was throughout. Didn't need so many trapnights over many areas; one or two areas with 200-250 trapnights each gave a good abundance guesstimate. And yes, the relative vole abundance usually gave an abundance prediction for marten (though not always). More important for the marten was looking at total yoy:adult female ratios in the prior years' catch.

Clear as mud?

Jack


Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721738
11/19/22 01:41 PM
11/19/22 01:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 9,999
Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
Sharon Offline
"American Honey"
Sharon  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 9,999
Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
Thank you, Jack, I have always thought voles were in their own little realms, apart from mice , shrews, and those hopper mice , or jumping rats .

I don't know what kinds I've had here or when I lived in N. Idaho . I could have learned a lot from you back then, on the spot.

Years ago, I worked at a plant nursery , in N. Idaho, my co-workers and owner always dealt with intruders who would dig out trays of seedlings, pots , the roots dug up, and the occasional mouse that was half chewed up. No one knew what was going on, so as I worked there, I looked into the varmints I saw caught in the traps.

It was fun detective work for me. And I thought the owner would like to know, so he could target his success better in eradicating them.

Every mouse, vole and shrew caught, I lined up on a board . I knew of voles liking to dig in roots and leaves to harvest. And mice to eat seed, grain, and anything else they find. And shrews....the mini weasels, to hunt them all.

I identified house mice, deer mice, shrews ( don't know what species), and voles, who all were the same colour.

I showed the owner, who immediately gathered his whole crew to see the board catch and listen. I explained each one and to the best of my knowledge, tell them what they like and how better to hopefully target them in traps. That voles were likely the culprits to dig into pots and chop up roots and leaves . Mice digging into seed trays for those, and possibly voles also. Shrews who mainly wanted the protein by predating on the ones in the traps.

There was a huge blackboard in the main building that was used every day for scheduling . I drew each rodent in some detail on the board, and labeled them under each image. The owner left those illustrations on that board for a long time.

Your explanations of vole highs and lows are quite clear. Thank you, I learn all the time.

Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7721855
11/19/22 05:35 PM
11/19/22 05:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,075
Manitoba
N
Northof50 Offline
trapper
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Manitoba
Early snows help the red back population as it is insulation for them and the leaf litter does not freeze. Now a wet snow and freezing is a death sentence for them. Deer mice go topour at -10c and start to move when it gets warm. shrew populations follow 2 years after a high in microtones highs. Slower reproduction.
We have had 12 inch snow falls early and the meadow voles reproduce through the winter, especially if there is crop residue for them to feed on.

Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Northof50] #7722521
11/20/22 01:02 PM
11/20/22 01:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,100
Idaho, Lemhi County
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Gulo Offline OP
"On The Other Hand"
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Idaho, Lemhi County
Originally Posted by Northof50
Early snows help the red back population as it is insulation for them and the leaf litter does not freeze. Now a wet snow and freezing is a death sentence for them. Deer mice go topour at -10c and start to move when it gets warm. shrew populations follow 2 years after a high in microtones highs. Slower reproduction.
We have had 12 inch snow falls early and the meadow voles reproduce through the winter, especially if there is crop residue for them to feed on.


Yes. Nof50. Early insulation certainly helps the small mammals. On the other hand, populations can be devastated by mid-winter thaws. If a February Chinook blows through (warm winds), and the snow column thaws all the way to the ground/snow interface, a major death event happens. I've seen vole populations decimated (from 40 captures per 100 trap nights, to one capture per 100) with a single Chinook.

Jack


Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7722536
11/20/22 01:22 PM
11/20/22 01:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 432
alaska
S
spotter Offline
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alaska
I was in small cabin after a long day and in the middle of the night I felt something on my face. At first I thought it was a drop of water hitting my face. The wood stove had warmed the cabin up and as it was fifty below I thought it had warmed up the roof and it was leaking melted snow. I layed there, and in a bit something ran across my face. I turned on my headlamp and saw dozens of the little buggers all through the cabin. I got up and for an hour tried to kill them. Went back to the bed and finally fell asleep. When I woke up the next morning and was making coffee, I saw one crawl out of my sleeping bag that I had just been in. Dang infestation.

Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7722548
11/20/22 01:42 PM
11/20/22 01:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,100
Idaho, Lemhi County
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Gulo Offline OP
"On The Other Hand"
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Idaho, Lemhi County
We used to sit at night in a cabin (in Alaska). 6-8 small chunks of beaver meat or dry-fish on the floor. Beer (or whiskey) in hand. Lights off. Have Bic pen barrel at the ready, along with "darts" with masking tape around sewing needles the diameter of the Bic pen "blow-gun". Turn on the headlamps and try to pin the shrews to the floor with the dart. Great fun!

Jack


Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7722563
11/20/22 02:06 PM
11/20/22 02:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,071
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
Originally Posted by Gulo
We used to sit at night in a cabin (in Alaska). 6-8 small chunks of beaver meat or dry-fish on the floor. Beer (or whiskey) in hand. Lights off. Have Bic pen barrel at the ready, along with "darts" with masking tape around sewing needles the diameter of the Bic pen "blow-gun". Turn on the headlamps and try to pin the shrews to the floor with the dart. Great fun!

Jack



I was skinning in the tent at Plastic lake when a yellow cheek climbed up through the wood pile. A quick flick of the wrist pinned him to the wood with my Camillus 20.

Doesn't take much to entertain trappers......apparently

Jack, can you quantify the lag between microtine highs/lows with a similar response in marten ?


Mean As Nails
Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: white17] #7722666
11/20/22 03:34 PM
11/20/22 03:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,100
Idaho, Lemhi County
G
Gulo Offline OP
"On The Other Hand"
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Idaho, Lemhi County
Originally Posted by white17
Jack, can you quantify the lag between microtine highs/lows with a similar response in marten ?


Ken -

No, I wish I could. I do know that in Alaska, a catastrophic freeze-out in early spring will result in a lower proportion of YOY marten in the harvest the following season. On the other hand, a big upswing in the small mammals (especially red-backed voles) doesn't seem to influence marten numbers in the subsequent year, but may bring a partial upswing in marten the following year. Why the delayed response? I have absolutely no idea. By the time 2 years have gone by, I think that there are enough variables that we can't quantify, that I was unable to sort out the cause/effect. In SE Alaska, the bonanza of available food in the form of winter-killed deer in the spring, I believe, would offset the mouse population declines, leading to high survival rates of neonates. Obviously, this cannot happen in Interior Alaska or here in Idaho. My current theory in Idaho (needs major refining and additional years of study) is that mouse/vole populations are greatly influenced by amount of summer moisture. My catches of these "sagebrush marten" that I live with, seems to vary in relation to moisture. No rain and/or light snowpack, no marten. Good rains, good mouse/vole numbers, decent marten. However, where I trap (lowlands) the marten are all dispersers (I catch no adult females; almost all YOY males).

Jack


Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7723394
11/21/22 01:03 PM
11/21/22 01:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,071
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
I suspect that RBV population events would have more negative impact the closer they occur to parturition in marten pops. Might be pretty significant to have wet neo's at the same time as the RBV's drown in their holes

In SE AK do you think that the availability of high calorie grub on the beaches can offset the risk of death to neo's from wet hypothermia ? How do those SE marten compare in body fat with interior marten ? Comparison would assume the same method of capture in both locations I would think. Pretty hard to get that data unless you trap them yourself to control variables.


Mean As Nails
Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: white17] #7723448
11/21/22 02:57 PM
11/21/22 02:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,100
Idaho, Lemhi County
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Gulo Offline OP
"On The Other Hand"
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Idaho, Lemhi County
Originally Posted by white17
In SE AK do you think that the availability of high calorie grub on the beaches can offset the risk of death to neo's from wet hypothermia ? How do those SE marten compare in body fat with interior marten ? Comparison would assume the same method of capture in both locations I would think. Pretty hard to get that data unless you trap them yourself to control variables.


No, I suspect that if the neonates get wet, game over (but I'm just guessing).

In body fat, the SE marten are, on average, significantly fatter than interior marten (or these Idaho marten). Every so often, one is caught that is quite impossible to skin through the mouth, it has so much subcutaneous fat. Some of them are actually roly-poly. My experience in SE is limited to Chichagof and Baranof Islands.

Jack


Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7723451
11/21/22 03:02 PM
11/21/22 03:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,071
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
Are they fatter because their energy budget is less demanding due to warmer temps or just better food ? I would think our greater snow depth would be beneficial in conserving heat and lowering caloric requirements as opposed to dealing with wet fur all winter


Mean As Nails
Re: Photo Phriday 68 [Re: Gulo] #7723468
11/21/22 03:28 PM
11/21/22 03:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 9,999
Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
Sharon Offline
"American Honey"
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Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
I recall a similar subject a long time ago on these things, and T4ever, who is in SE AK, contributed to some very good info from his years of experience also. His marten are among the best and prettiest I've seen to date. Maybe he will see this subject too .

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