Ranging behaviour and time budgets of male wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus in different habitats and seasons

Nadia Corp*, Martyn L. Gorman, John R. Speakman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Radiotelemetry was used to measure the range areas, activity patterns and time budgets of 21 adult male wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) between May 1991 and August 1992. The study investigated variation in range, total distance travelled, speed of movement and time budgets between wood mice in the nonbreeding and breeding seasons in a deciduous woodland (n = 8 and 6 respectively). We also examined habitat differences by estimating these same parameters for wood mice inhabiting maritime sand-dunes in the breeding season (n = 7). Insufficient males of an appropriate mass for radiotracking were captured to study the sand-dune mice in the nonbreeding season. Significant variation was found across both season and site. In the breeding season, in woodland, range areas were 5 times larger than during the nonbreeding season. Wood mice on the sand-dunes exploited ranges 28 times greater than their woodland counterparts. The pattern of variation in range area was parallelled by significant differences in total distances and average speeds travelled per night. Diurnal activity, c. 60 min day-1, was frequently recorded, at both sites, but only, in the breeding season, which was attributed to the need to forage in order to maintain energy balance. The comparatively lower availability of food on the sand-dunes was considered the main factor explaining the greater range area, total distance moved, speed travelled and level of activity of animals at this site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 1997


  • Activity pattern
  • Apodemus
  • Range
  • Time budget
  • Wood mouse


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