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International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences 27: 39-43, 2001
International Scientific Publications, New Delhi

Space Use in Two Rodent Species (Abrothrix xanthorhinus and Eligmodontia morgani) in North-Western Patagonia

M. Lozada, M. de Torres Curth, K.M. Heinemann and N. Guthmann

ABSTRACT

The home range of two rodent species inhabiting the ecotonal steppe in North-Western Patagonia was studied. Significant differences were found between home range size and overlap of Abrothrix xanthorhinus males and females, according to their reproductive condition. These results suggest that Abrothrix xanthorhinus might be polygynous or promiscuous. In contrast, in Eligmodontia morgani, no difference was found between the home range size of males and females, irrespective of their reproductive condition. Differential space use may occur in both sigmodontine rodents which may be important as sigmodontine species are Hantavirus reservoirs in the Patagonian steppe.

Key Words: Home range, Semi-arid steppe, Patagonia, Hantavirus, Sigmodontine rodents, Argentina.