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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Use of restoration-treated ponderosa pine forest by tassel-eared squirrels

Published source details

Loberger C.D., Theimer T.C., Rosenstock S.S. & Wightman C.S. (2011) Use of restoration-treated ponderosa pine forest by tassel-eared squirrels. Journal of Mammalogy, 92, 1021-1027

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Retain undisturbed patches during thinning operations Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2005–2007 of a ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa forest in Northern Arizona, USA (Loberger et al. 2011) found that tassel-eared squirrels Sciurus aberti made greater use of undisturbed than thinned forest. In winter 57% and during the rest of the year 51% of squirrel home range areas fell within undisturbed forest compared to 39% availability by extent in the study area. Squirrels also showed a preference for dense canopies. In winter, canopies with 51–75% cover accounted for 53% of squirrel use compared to 44% of resource availability. Thinning was carried out from 1998–2000. Seventeen-hectare blocks within a 10-km2 area were randomly assigned to no thinning and to low, medium and high-intensity thinning. A combination of these managements was applied to four additional blocks of approximately 40 ha each. Squirrel locations were monitored by radio-tracking from December 2005 to July 2007.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)