Nest-site characteristics of the montane endemic Mearns's squirrel (Tamiasciurus mearnsi): An obligate cavity-nester?

Nicolás Ramos-Lara, John Koprowski, Don E. Swann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many animals depend on nests for their survival and reproduction, with some species considered obligate tree cavity-nesters. Mearns's squirrel (Tamiasciurus mearnsi) is a species endemic to the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, Baja California, Mexico, that relies on tree cavities for nesting. Federally listed as threatened in Mexico, and as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the ecology of this southernmost Tamiasciurus is poorly known. The aim of this study was to examine the nesting requirements of Mearns's squirrels. We used telemetry to locate the nests and 10-m-radius circular plots to compare habitat characteristics between nest sites and random sites, nest sites of males and females, and nest sites of breeding and nonbreeding females. Nest tree species, nest tree condition, nest tree size (diameter at breast height), canopy cover, and occurrence of white firs (Abies concolor) are important characteristics for nesting. Nest sites of males did not differ from those of females except for nest tree condition. Females apparently do not have specific nesting requirements for rearing young. Unlike other congeners that also build leaf nests and underground burrows for nesting, large trees and snags that facilitate cavity formation are critical for the conservation of this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Fingerprint

Tamiasciurus
Sciuridae
nest site
squirrels
nesting sites
nest
cavity
nests
tree cavities
Mexico
Abies concolor
Abies
Telemetry
snag
snags
telemetry
natural resources conservation
Ecology
endemic species
burrow

Keywords

  • Baja California
  • cavity nests
  • endemic species
  • Mexico
  • nest sites
  • Sciurus
  • secondary cavity-nester
  • Sierra de San Pedro Mártir
  • tree cavities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Nest-site characteristics of the montane endemic Mearns's squirrel (Tamiasciurus mearnsi) : An obligate cavity-nester? / Ramos-Lara, Nicolás; Koprowski, John; Swann, Don E.

In: Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 94, No. 1, 02.2013, p. 50-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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