Small mammals and hares

Small mammals and hares

Small mammals and hares play a keystone role in both Arctic and boreal ecosystems. They are a major prey species for many northern carnivores. The cyclic fluctuations in the abundance of small mammals and hares are often repeated in the fluctuations seen in the abundance of their predators.


The small mammal and hare surveys in the Northwest Territories (NWT) are designed to monitor changes in voles, mice, lemmings, shrews and hares in many sites across all ecozones in the NWT using standard protocols. 

Agencies involved

Renewable Resource Officers, wildlife co-management boards, government biologists, academic researchers and environmental consultants have been involved with small mammal and hare monitoring since the late 1980s. At some sites, students assisted in data collection as part of research camps or school field courses. Agencies involved in the surveys are:

Get involved

New location coordinators are always welcome. If you wish to participate, perform the survey in a new location or find more information on the survey, contact: