We compared home ranges of introduced Abert's squirrels (Sciurus aberti Woodhouse, 1853) in mixed-conifer forests of Arizona during non-mating and mating seasons. Because Abert's squirrels are reported to depend on ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson) forests, the mixed-conifer forest in our study represented a novel habitat. Home-range size, home-range overlap with females, and movement distances increased for males from non-mating to mating seasons. Home-range size and overlap characteristics of females remained consistent between seasons, but movement distances were reduced during the mating season. Males probably increased home-range size, home-range overlap with females, and movement distances during the mating season to maximize contact with scarce females. Home-range size and overlap characteristics of female Abert's squirrels likely remained stable between seasons because females do not search for mates. Restricted movements by females during the mating season may be due to changes in resource use in preparation for reproduction. Non-mating season home ranges in our study were smaller than home ranges observed in ponderosa pine forest. Abert's squirrels in mixed-conifer forest may have small home ranges because resource quality is higher than in ponderosa pine forest or competition for space with co-occurring Mount Graham red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis (J.A. Allen, 1894)).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology