The Congo forest mouse, Deomys ferrugineus, occurs readily in natural and human-altered habitats in the region of Kisangani (Democratic Republic of Congo). We studied survival and movement patterns of D. ferrugineus in both habitats. Capture-mark-recapture was used to study the effects of habitat on rodent life history both in primary rainforest and fallow land. Survival analyses taking into account trap-happiness effects were conducted using the program MARK. Abundance of D. ferrugineus was generally low within all our study grids, but it was lowest in fallow land compared to primary rainforest. Numbers of reproductively active females captured were not different between habitats but were larger during the rainy seasons. Daily movements of females, but not of males, were smaller in fallow land. Capture-mark-recapture analyses showed recapture probabilities to vary highly between grids and years. Survival probability in the primary forest was higher than in fallow land with a difference of 0.084 over a period of four weeks. This is possibly linked to the higher abundance of the main food source (insects and termites); however, other explanations are discussed in the text.
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Vol. 47 • No. 1