Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Modelling the population dynamics of the Mt. Graham red squirrel: Can we predict its future in a changing environment with multiple threats?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen Rushton, Dr Peter Lurz


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rushton SP, Wood DJA, Lurz PWW, Koprowski JL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biological Conservation

Year: 2006

Volume: 131

Issue: 1

Pages: 121-131

Print publication date: 01/07/2006

ISSN (print): 0006-3207

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2917

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2006.02.010


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric