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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 4:227-232 (2008)  -  DOI:

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

John L. Koprowski*, Sarah R. B. King, Melissa J. Merrick

Wildlife Conservation and Management, School of Natural Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA

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 the 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.

KEY WORDS: Limital population · geographic range · Tamiasciurus hudsonicus · Arizona · isolation · conservation

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Cite this article as: Koprowski JL, King SRB, Merrick MJ (2008) Expanded home ranges in a peripheral population: space use by endangered Mt. Graham red squirrels. Endang Species Res 4:227-232.

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