Ecology and Population Dynamics of the Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus Hudsonicus) in Wood Buffalo National Park
Wood, Thomas J.
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The red squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, ranges through the entire coniferous forest region and much of the deciduous forest region of Canada and the United States. It may be found from the northern extension of the tree line in Alaska and Mackenzie District down the Rocky Mountain forest to Arizona and New Mexico in the west, and through the eastern provinces of Canada and the New England states to the Alleghany Mountains of Tennessee and Caroline (Figure 1) (Hall and Kelson, 1959). The red squirrel is an important fur bearer. Over the last 25 years the average annual income from the sale of its pelts in Canada has been over one million dollars. Despite this economic importance, however, relatively little is known about the biology of the species. This project was undertaken to study aspects of the ecology and population dynamics of the red squirrel in Wood Buffalo National Park, a 17,300-square-mile area in northern Alberta and Northwest Territories. The following were several objectives of the study: 1) to study territoriality, home range, movement and social activity through a program of mark-release live trapping; 2) to study individual variation, sex and age differences within a population, sexual cycles, and rate of development of young from a large sample of red squirrel specimens; and 3) to estimate factors of longevity and mortality.