Title

Dispersal, Translocation, and Population Connectivity in Fragmented Populations of Southern Idaho Ground Squirrels

Publication Date

4-2005

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Major Advisor

James C. Munger

Advisor

Eric Yensen

Abstract

My thesis research examines the movements of Spermophilus brunneus endemicus, (southern Idaho ground squirrels, hereafter SIGS) and the factors that influence their movements. In this study I use both observational and experimental studies to address natural dispersal and translocation techniques. In the first chapter I describe my observational study of the dispersal patterns of SIGS, and include a discussion of the factors that might affect a squirrel's propensity to disperse. I also incorporate information gathered from one experimental translocation study, because translocation represents an artificial "forced" dispersal that allows us to see how a squirrel will behave under more controlled circumstances. The second chapter focuses on different techniques of translocating southern Idaho ground squirrels. I describe four translocation attempts, their results, and the implications of using translocation as a management tool.

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