Expanded home ranges in a peripheral population: Space use by endangered Mt. Graham red squirrels

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25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Peripheral populations are often of increased conservation value; however, knowledge of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of a peripheral location is poor. Spatial dynamics are often interpreted as strategies to maximize access to fitness-limiting resources. Red squirrels Tamiasciurus hudsonicus are territorial in western portions of their range and exhibit overlapping home ranges in eastern forests. Endangered Mt. Graham red squirrels T. hudsonicus grahamensis represent southernmost extension of the species. We used radiotelemetry to assess space use and interindividual overlap of endangered Mt. Graham red squirrels. Squirrels maintained nearly exclusive 50 % core areas; however, 95 % ranges overlapped considerably, especially between males and females. Home ranges increased in summer for both males and females and may be related to sex-specific reproductive strategies. Ranges of Mt. Graham red squirrels in this peripheral population were nearly 10 times the size of red squirrels from other locations. The space use of this limital population suggests that resource availability may be substantially different than in other portions of the range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalEndangered Species Research
Volume4
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 21 2008

Keywords

  • Arizona
  • Conservation
  • Geographic range
  • Isolation
  • Limital population
  • Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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