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Squirrel Population Decline Following a Late Spring Frost

Charles M. Nixon and Milford W. McClain
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 33, No. 2 (Apr., 1969), pp. 353-357
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799835
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799835
Page Count: 5
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Squirrel Population Decline Following a Late Spring Frost
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Abstract

The squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis and S. niger) population on the Waterloo Experiment Station located in southeast Ohio had increased to a density of nearly 1.3 squirrels/acre in 1966 when a severe spring frost reduced available food stocks. By fall, 1966, the population exhibited a lowered reproductive rate, lighter body weights, and increased dispersal and/or mortality, particularly the subadult squirrels. Breeding virtually ceased between May, 1966 and August, 1967. The impact of the frost on reducing available food stocks at a time of high population density may have increased social stress to the point of inhibiting normal reproduction, at least in summer, 1966. Breeding did resume in late summer, 1967, but the population in the fall of 1967 was only one-sixth as large as in the fall of 1966.

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