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Individual study: Does ungulate disturbance mediate behavioural and physiological stress responses in Algerian mice (Mus spretus)? A wild exclosure experiment

Published source details

Navarro-Castilla A., Diaz M. & Barja I. (2017) Does ungulate disturbance mediate behavioural and physiological stress responses in Algerian mice (Mus spretus)? A wild exclosure experiment. Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy, 28, 165-172


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use fencing to exclude grazers or other problematic species Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled, paired sites study in 2010–2012 in Holm oak Quercus ilex woodland in Cabañeros National Park, Central Spain (Navarro-Castilla et al. 2017) found that excluding large herbivores using fences increased the abundance of Algerian mice Mus spretus. The abundance of Algerian mice and the percentage of trees occupied by mice were higher inside exclosures (103 individuals caught; 60% of trees occupied) than outside (55 individuals caught; 30% of trees occupied). However, mice had higher levels of physiological stress indicators (faecal corticosterone metabolites) inside (33,041 ng/g dry faeces) than outside exclosures (29,225 ng/g). One 3 ha section of a 150 ha exclosure established in 1995 and a 4.7 ha exclosure established in 2008 were paired with grazed areas of equal size. Exclosures were fenced (2 m high) with a 32 x 16 cm mesh width that allowed movement of rodent predators but not of large herbivores. Mice were sampled during two consecutive nights in November 2010 and 2011 and February 2011 and 2012 using two Sherman traps placed under all 170 trees in the study sites. Fresh faecal samples from 92 different captured individuals were used to monitor faecal corticosterone metabolites.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)