October 10th, 2011 by nperlut
The crew is busy finding collared squirrels and trying to trap. Trapping has been rather slow with the ground covered in acorns, but we are trying new (big) foods to lure. The results may be improving. Last week we caught and collared a health female–frequency 234. As promised in my last post, here is a telemetry map updated through the beginning of July. For this weeks reading the crew picked a home range study from VA campus published in 1974 (Doebel, JH and BS McGinnes. 1974. Home range and activity of a grey squirrel population. The Journal of Wildlife Management 38(4): 860-867.). This study found home ranges to be 0.50ha….way lower than what we are observing, although they only tracked from Nov-Mar.
August 10th, 2011 by nperlut
Veteran squirrelologist, Cody Chretien, has been hard at work with the telemetry map (soon to be improved on the website!) and analyzing the movement data. A few interesting points to share from 12 collared squirrels. First, home range averages around 3 ha (7.5 acres). This is large compared to a few other eastern studies we looked at, although small compared to an introduced population. And as with other studies, male home ranges are larger than female. Of super intriguing squirrel behavior…. he separated squirrels living in the campus core from those living on the campus periphery. Core squirrels had much smaller home ranges than periphery squirrels, suggesting that core squirrels can rely on our handouts. More to come on this….
June 14th, 2011 by nperlut
It is cold here right now. Temps for the last few days have been in the high 50′s, low 60′s. The squirrels, though, have apparently been busy. Two of my most accomplished squirrelologists were out with the telemetry gear and took a lunch break. During their break they saw squirrels quickly copulating on concrete steps only to get interrupted by another squirrel. An extra-pair copulation perhaps? Excitement in the squirrel world indeed!
April 27th, 2011 by nperlut
Both good and interesting ecological news to share from Planet Squirrel. Over the last week or so we actually started catching squirrels again! We have recently put four new collars on, including one this morning. The peculiar news is that all four were females. One seemed pregnant (she was huge–2lbs!) and a second seemed to be nursing young. Females must have great food demands right now and are willing to take chances for the high return of peanut butter and corn. Can you blame them?
The telemetry map has not been updated for some time. We have put too much data on it for the system to sort out, so Cody is working on a new map that will have tons of additional data. Stay tuned….
March 22nd, 2011 by nperlut
The valiant crew of Squirrelogists continues to try to trap around campus, but with no success. Yesterday we had 12 traps out from 8am to noon and caught one chipmunk. One squirrel was seen on top of a trap, taunting taunting. It seems like the squirrels are too busy with the breeding season. We have transmitters to deploy, just no squirrels to put them on. Hopefully soon…..