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    Description

    Silvicultural prescriptions to enhance northern flying squirrel (Glaucoinys sabrinus) habitat have been suggested as an aid for recovery of the threatened northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). Flying squirrels are hypothesized to be limited by den sites (cavities in trees) and by food (truffles). However, no quantitative information exists on den sites of flying squirrels. Therefore, during 1986-94, we used radiotelemetry to locate 604 different den sites in the southern Coast Range of Oregon, the southern Olympic Peninsula, and the Puget Trough of Washington. Den sites included cavities in live and dead old-growth trees; cavities, stick nests, and moss nests in small (10-50 cm dbh) second-growth trees; dens in cavities in branches of fallen trees; and dens in decayed stumps of old-growth trees and suppressed young trees. Two-thirds of all dens located were in live trees. Most dens were located during a study of second-growth forests in the Puget Trough. Females selected cavities for maternal dens. Squirrels used multiple dens; denning partners varied with den. Dens of males were 211 ± 7 m apart; dens of females were 108 ± 4 m apart. Males used 2.2 ± 0.1 dens per month; females 2.3 ± 0.1 dens per month. Dens, except maternal dens, were often occupied simultaneously by several adult squirrels. Many fragile den sites were used by females. Secure cavities are scarce and may limit reproductive success. Management for cavity trees and dens could prove fruitful in owl recovery and habitat restoration efforts.

    Publication Notes

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    Citation

    Carey, A.B.; Wilson, T.M.; Maguire, C.C.; Biswell, B.L. 1997. Dens of northern flying squirrels in the Pacific Northwest. Journal of Wildlife Management. 61(3): 684-699

    Keywords

    cavity, den, Glaucomys sabrinus, nest, northern flying squirrel, old growth, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, prey, spotted owl, telemetry, Washington

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