Publication Date

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Environmental Biology

First Advisor

John Yunger, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Mary E. Carrington, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Timothy Gsell, Ph.D.


Predation risk can have a strong influence on foraging behavior. I hypothesized that 1) Peromyscus leucopus would climb trees and forage at greater heights if there is coyote urine present and 2) if there are owl pellets present, P. leucopus would avoid foraging at that tree. To explore these hypotheses, giving-up densities (GUDs) were measured by using foraging trays mounted on trees in an oak forest located in eastern Will County Illinois. Data was analyzed using repeated measures MANOVA. Scent was the only significant difference during owl pellet treatments (P=0.0471, df=1). A significant difference was found between scent (P=0.0183, df=1), scent and day (P=0.0447, df=5), day, season and scent (P=0.0801, df=9), and foraging heights (P=0.0420, df=2) during the coyote treatments. Peromyscus leucopus foraged more at trees with owl pellets. They also foraged more at trees with coyote scent and more at the base than up in the trees. Foraging at trees could be safer because of their ability to climb or hide to escape predation.