Effects of clear-cutting on gray squirrels

  • Nixon C
  • McClain M
  • Donohoe R
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Effects of clear-cutting on gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) were studied in southeastern Ohio, using clear-cuts 1-22 years old. Captures of gray squirrels declined 51.5% and estimated densities declined 44% in the 1st year following clear-cutting of 12.9 ha of an 83.6-ha forest. Recovery rates for tagged adult squirrels whose home ranges included the clear-cut were lower than rates for adults not exposed to clear-cutting. Fewer than 20% of the adults known to be living adjacent to a clear-cut were captured within the cut area. In a companion study of 2 smaller, narrower clear-cuts (7.9 ha and 3.8 ha) on a 76.1-ha hardwood forest, no significant changes in squirrel densities, recovery rates, breeding rates, movements, or body weights were observed after clear-cutting. On these and other clear-cuts 7, 15, and 20 years old, squirrels ventured significantly farther into the clear-cuts during winter than after leaf-out. Clear-cuts

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  • Charles M Nixon

  • Milford W McClain

  • Robert W Donohoe

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