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Abstract



Citation. Tester, J. R. 1985. Parental care in raccoons and snowshoe hares-revelations of telemetry. The Naturalist 36:5-7.   [1152  LTER]

Introduction. Many articles have been written about parental care and the relations between human parents and their offspring. On the other hand, relatively little is known about the behavior and maternal relations of many species of wild mammals. This is particularly true for those species of wild mammals. This is particularly true for those species that are secretive, live in forest, or other types of dense cover, or are active primarily at night. Knowledge of how young animals first develop independence from their mother is of considerable importance to understanding the biology of a species. Unfortunately, prior to the development of telemetry or radio-tracking techniques, this information was very difficult to obtain. Now, with the aid of radio-telemetry, we can obtain the minute-to-minute data essential for evaluating brief movements over short distances. The critical first movements of young raccoons and snowshoe hares have been especially difficult to observe directly because these mammals live in forests and are nocturnal. By using an automatic radio-tracking system at the Cedar Creek Natural History Area, we have learned that the relations between mothers and young in these two species are extremely different.

Keywords. Cedar Creek Natural History Area, radio telemetry, raccoons, snowshoe hares


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