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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen Rushton,
Dr Peter Lurz
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The Mt. Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis; MGRS) is among the most critically endangered mammals in the United States and is isolated on the periphery of the species' range, potentially increasing its conservation priority. To investigate potential threats to the population and provide a tool for land managers, we developed a spatially explicit population dynamics model. We tested model predictions using available range-wide data from the literature and field work specific to the MGRS. A general model input data set using mean life history values overpredicted MGRS abundance. However, we found significant correlation with known squirrel abundance using a general data set with curtailed fecundity and survival. A model with MGRS-specific data provided the best fit to observed population size. We investigated potential impacts of two major threats to the MGRS: competition from introduced Abert's squirrels (Sciurus aberti) and increased levels of predation. Predation and particularly competition could have significant effects on the future population of the MGRS. Careful attention must be used to model the viability of fringe populations as peripheral populations can have a different life history than populations found in the range core. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Author(s): Rushton SP, Wood DJA, Lurz PWW, Koprowski JL
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Biological Conservation
Print publication date: 01/07/2006
ISSN (print): 0006-3207
ISSN (electronic): 1873-2917
Publisher: Elsevier BV
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