Distribution and spread of an introduced insular population of red-bellied squirrels (sciurus aureogaster) in florida

Geoffrey H. Palmer, John Koprowski, Anthony J. Pernas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduced populations of species pose one of the greatest threats to the persistence of native species. Documentation of distribution, range expansion and habitat use of introduced populations are key components of developing effective management strategies for the control and eradication of invasive species. In 2006 and 2007, we surveyed four islands in Biscayne National Park for nests to evaluate the presence of redbellied squirrels (Sciurus aureogaster) and the distribution and index of dispersion of their nests in the Florida Keys archipelago within the Atlantic Ocean. Red-bellied squirrels were initially introduced to Elliott Key, Florida, USA in in 1938. We documented evidence of squirrels on two additional islands, Sands Key and Old Rhodes Key, which adds to concerns of spread of this introduced squirrel to areas with endangered endemic insular mammals. Squirrel nests were documented only in mixed-hardwood forest, and nests had a clumped distribution within this forest type. Range expansion was a chief concern to the National Park Service, as continued spread could result in squirrels exiting the park, and prompted management action. Understanding nest site selection and distribution was critical for developing an eradication strategy for the introduced population of red-bellied squirrels from south Florida.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalMammalia
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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Sciurus
squirrels
nest
range expansion
nests
national park
nest site
site selection
mixed forest
habitat use
invasive species
native species
archipelago
National Park Service
mammal
persistence
hardwood forests
sand
mixed forests
distribution

Keywords

  • Colonization
  • Habitat selection
  • Index of dispersion
  • Invasive species
  • Species eradication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Distribution and spread of an introduced insular population of red-bellied squirrels (sciurus aureogaster) in florida. / Palmer, Geoffrey H.; Koprowski, John; Pernas, Anthony J.

In: Mammalia, Vol. 78, No. 1, 2014, p. 67-73.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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