Great Basin Naturalist


Summer food habits of a small mammal community in the Piceance Basin of Colorado were investigated during 1977 and 1978 using a combination of fecal and stomach content analyses. Three species, deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), least chipmunks (Eutamias minimus), and plains pocket mice (Perognathus flavescens) consumed arthropods as the majority of their diets. Bushy-tailed woodrats (Neotoma cinerea) consumed predominantly woody vegetation, and the diet of golden-mantled ground squirrels (Spermophilus lateralis) consisted primarily of forbs and fungi. Mountain cottontails (Sylvilagus nuttalli) depended heavily on grasses, with a mix of woody vegetation and forbs composing the remainder of their diet. Most of the species investigated selected different foods and thus avoided competition for food. Plains pocket mice may have competed with deer mice for arthropods in 1977.