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Effects of Removal of Red Squirrels, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, and Eastern Chipmunks, Tamias striatus, on Nest Predation in a Northern Hardwood Forest: An Artificial Nest Experiment

Leonard R. Reitsma, Richard T. Holmes and Thomas W. Sherry
Oikos
Vol. 57, No. 3 (Apr., 1990), pp. 375-380
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3565967
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3565967
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Effects of Removal of Red Squirrels, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, and Eastern Chipmunks, Tamias striatus, on Nest Predation in a Northern Hardwood Forest: An Artificial Nest Experiment
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Abstract

An importance of eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) and red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) as avian nest predators was examined by monitoring predation on quail-egg-baited artificial nests on six experimental plots, from which the two predators were removed, paired with six control plots. Nests were placed 50 m apart at densities of 16 per 2.25 ha. The number of nests depredated on each plot differed significantly for each treatment, but did not differ significantly between removal and control plots. We attribute the latter finding to the combined effects of compensatory mortality due to a larger-than-expected variety of nest predators and to patchy nest predation resulting from variable predator distribution. Photographs of seven species of nest predators were obtained from cameras with trip devices placed in the field indicating that several taxa, in addition to red squirrels and chipmunks, may be important nest predators. The use of artificial nests for field experiments, the impact of a diverse set of predators, and the spatially variable pattern of nest predation are discussed.

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