Associations of elevation, vegetation type, and land use with the distribution of the wupatki pocket mouse (perognathus amplus cineris)

Jean Marie Loverich Rieck, Sharalyn K. Peterson, Tad Theimer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Wupatki pocket mouse (Perognathus amplus cineris), a subspecies of the Arizona pocket mouse, is a species of concern i the Arizona Heritage Data Management System and a Group 4 species on the Navajo Endangered Species list, but the limits of its geographical range and vegetation associations are poorly known. We analyzed data collected between 2002 and 2004 and conducted live-trapping surveys at 32 sites in and around Wupatki National Monument during the summer, 2011, to determine ho this subspecies’ distribution was related to elevation, land use, and dominant vegetation type. We also resampled a subset of sites in the fall, 2011, to test whether the abundance of the Wupatki pocket mouse declined as would be expected if this subspecies was sensitive to temperature changes and entered a period of lessened activity during winter. Our analyses indicated the Wupatki pocket mouse was most abundant between 1,450 and 1,600 m and was more abundant inside th monument than outside where livestock grazing was permitted. It was more strongly associated with the black grama vegetation type and less associated with galleta grassland, juniper scrub, and saltbush vegetation types. These data suggest that models predicting future distribution of this subspecies under climate change should include interactions with human land use and climate effects on vegetation and temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Colorado Plateau VI
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Management at the Landscape Scale
PublisherUniversity of Arizona Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780816502356
ISBN (Print)9780816531592
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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