Short-Grass Steppe LTER Small Mammal Census


The Short-Grass Steppe (SGS) Long-term Ecological Research site (LTER) is a long-term census of small mammals conducted twice yearly at six separate trapping locations distributed across two different habitats, grassland and shrubland, in Colorado USA.

Ecological Level: Community

Habitat: Grassland and Shrubland

Location: Colorado (Lat/Long)

Spatial Scale of data: 6 different trapping webs each 3.14 ha in size

Timespan: 1994-2006

Frequency: twice anually, once in spring/early summer and once in late summer/early fall

Observational/Experimental: Observational

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Data collection summary: During each sampling period, each trapping web is trapped for 4 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


  • In 1998, trapping web 13NE was renamed 13SW and moved to a new location. For time series analyses requiring the entire timespan, these webs should be excluded.
  • In 2006, a new trapping web, 31W, was established in the grasslands. For time series analyses requiring the entire timespan, this web should be excluded.
  • 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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