Sevilleta LTER Small Mammal Census


The Sevilleta (SEV) Long-term Ecological Research site (LTER) is located on a 100,000 ha wildlife refuge in central new Mexico where long-term monitoring of small mammal communities has been conducted since 1989. Small mammal monitoring is conducted 2-3 times yearly in multiple habitats distributed across the refuge.

Ecological Level: Community

Habitat: Grassland, Shrubland, montane

Location: New Mexico (Lat/Long)

Spatial Scale of data: Multiple different locations, 3 trapping webs at each location, each trapping web covers 3.14 ha.

Timespan: 1989-2008

Frequency: 2 times anually, occuring in two of the three following seasons: 1) April-June, 2)July-August 3) September-October

Observational/Experimental: Observational

Dataset Location:

Data collection summary: During each sampling period, each trapping web is trapped for 3 consecutive nights. Each web consists of 120 permanently marked trapping stations. Sherman live traps were placed at each station, with 4 traps placed at the center of the web. Upon capture, each individual is marked (either permanently with tags or temporarily with Sharpies).

Data Collected: Species, sex, reproductive condition, age, weight


  • Of the 8 different sites that have been trapped (5plarrea, 5pgrass, rslarrea, rsgrass, Two22, Cerro Montosa, Savannah, Blue Gramma), 3 have been trapped annually from 1989-2008 (5pgrass, 5plarrea, and rslarrea).
  • From 1989-1993 rodents were trapped twice a year: May-June and July-August. In 1994, the second sampling period was shifted to late Sept-October. Therefore, only the first sampling period is relatively consistent across years. The shift in timing is clearly labeled in the column "Season" of Sevilleta rodent database.
  • When using the data as community data, remember to exclude individuals with the Capture code "Y", as these individuals are recapture from a previous night of the same sampling session. Counting these individuals results in some individuals being counted multiple times for the same sample period.
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