The Rollinson Lab 

Evolutionary ecology, long-term data, environmental change

Small mammals


I’ve trapped small mammals with the MNRF Terrestrial Wildlife Assessment Program, and with the long-term small mammal study in Algonquin Park that was initiated by Dr. Bruce Falls in the 1960s. I trapped for this project when the principal investigator was Dr. Ron Brooks. The Bruce Falls project is currently run by Dr. Andrew McAdam, and it is still going strong and generating a tremendous amount of data.

The Terrestrial Wildlife Assessement Program was developed to monitor representative species in Ontario forests, as to obtain baseline data on the presence and abundance of small mammals (and other groups) in various forest ecotypes. The intent was to use these data to better manage timber practices and monitor their impact in local forests. 


I’ve also spend a summer trapping and tracking flying squirrels in the Park for Dr. Gillian Holloway. While northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) range all the way up to Alaska, I was surprised to learn, as were other researchers, that southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) are periodically ubiquitous as far north as Algonquin Park! In 2003, we trapped hundreds of these creatures, but we captured relatively few sabrinus. Yet, population density of small mammals was so high in 2003 that by 2004 all small mammal populations had suffered a tremendous crash in the Park. While volans were no longer anywhere to be found, sabrinus were still relatively abundant, suggesting that populations of sabrinus are much more stable, at least in the north.


Read more about Dr. Holloway's research


Holloway, G. L., and  Malcolm J. R.. 2007. Nest-tree use by northern and southern flying squirrels in central Ontario. Journal of Mammalogy 88:226–233.


Holloway, G. L., & Malcolm, J. R. 2006. Sciurid habitat relationships in forests managed under selection and shelterwood silviculture in Ontario. Journal of Wildlife Management, 70:1735-1745.


Bowman, J., Holloway, G. L., Malcolm, J. R., Middel, K. R., & Wilson, P. J. 2005. Northern range boundary dynamics of southern flying squirrels: evidence of an energetic bottleneck. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 83:1486-1494.

A southern flying squirrel in Algonquin Park.

Deer mouse

Sure, chipmunks are cute. But they become extremely irate when caught in Sherman Traps.