Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): A.B. Carey
    Date: 2002
    Source: Wildlife Society Bulletin. 30(2): 547-556
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (672 KB)


    The northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) is a keystone species in Pacific Northwest conifer forests, consuming and disseminating spores of ectomycorrhizal fungi essential to Pinaceae and preyed upon by different vertebrate predators. Increasing the numbers of flying squirrels has been suggested as part of a strategy to increase the population viability of the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis). Flying squirrel populations in second-growth forests have been hypothesized to be limited by 1) abundance of den sites, 2) quality, quantity, and diversity of food, and 3) predation. I conducted an experiment to test the null hypothesis that number and quality of dens did not affect flying squirrel population density. in 1992, I added nest boxes and tree cavities to 8 of 16 Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) stands of various management histories in the Puget Trough of Washington. Flying squirrel use of boxes increased over 5 years, predominantly by pregnant and nursing females. Proportions of adult females breeding, however, did not increase. Population sizes did not increase significantly. Dens were not the overriding factor limiting flying squirrels in second-growth Douglas-fir forest in the Puget Trough of Washington. Rather, a complex of factors seemed to be operating, and limiting management focus to one or 2 factors may not produce desirable results.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Carey, A.B. 2002. Response of northern flying squirrels to supplementary dens. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 30(2): 547-556


    Cavities, dens, forest management, Glaucomys sabrinus, limiting factors, nest boxes, northern flying squirrels, predation, wildlife management

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page