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A case of communal breeding in the root vole microtus oeconomus



A case of communal breeding in the root vole microtus oeconomus



Fauna 43(2): 71-73



We here report a case of communal breeding in an experimental population of root voles Microtus oeconomus kept in a 0.5 ha enclosure where the vegetation was fragmented by mowing. The nest of two communally breeding females was located on a 225 m habitat fragment by radio-tagging all animals in the enclosures. Ten even-sized, approx, 3 day old pups where found in the nest of which 7 and 3 pups belonged to the two females respectively (evidence from placental scars). The two mothers were not genetically related, but had been kept together in the same cage in the laboratory from weaning and during the next 2 1/2 months until they were introduced to the enclosure. Individuals from this strain of root vole, originating from Valdres, South Norway, seem to be very towards conspecifics both in the laboratory and in the field.

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Accession: 006932249

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