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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Optimal width of movement corridors for root voles Microtus oeconomus, Evenstad Field Station, Hedmark, Norway

Published source details

Andreassen H.P., Halle S. & Ims R.A. (1996) Optimal width of movement corridors for root voles: Not too narrow and not too wide. Journal of Applied Ecology, 33, 63-70

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Create or maintain corridors between habitat patches Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 1992 of a grassland in southeast Norway (Andreassen et al. 1996) found that root voles Microtus oeconomus used habitat corridors, but moved further in intermediate-width than in narrow or wide corridors. In intermediate (1-m-wide) corridors, voles moved an average of 205 m along the corridor in 12 hours. In narrow (0.4-m-wide) corridors, average movement was 35 m and, in wide (3 m-wide) corridors, was 75 m. Two 5 × 5-m habitat patches were connected by a 310 m-long corridor. Patches and corridor comprised dense, homogeneous meadow vegetation. Adult male voles were released, one in each habitat patch, at 08:00 h and the trial was terminated at 18:00 h. Fieldwork spanned August–October 1992, starting with the wide corridor. Corridor width was then reduced by mowing and herbicide use. Vole movements were monitored by radio tracking and footprint plates.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)