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Maple Sugaring by Red Squirrels

Bernd Heinrich
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 73, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 51-54
DOI: 10.2307/1381865
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1381865
Page Count: 4
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Maple Sugaring by Red Squirrels
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Abstract

Red squirrels, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, were observed systematically harvesting sugar and syrup from sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) in a mixed stand of young hardwood trees in Western Maine. Each tap consisted of a single pair of chisel-like grooves of an apparent single bite that punctured the tree to the sap-bearing xylem. The dripping dilute sap was not harvested. Instead, the squirrels came back later and selectively visited the trees that had been punctured after most of the water from the sap had evaporated. The characteristic tooth marks left by sugaring red squirrels were observed at 22 other sites in Maine and Vermont.

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