Territorial behavior in the red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

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Poe, Jovonna
Clark, William R.
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Thesis (M.A.)
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Territoriality has been disputed for the red squirrel in different habitats. A small, isolated population of red squirrels in a central Indiana deciduous woods was studied by behavioral observation to determine if territoriality existed. Territorial behavior was operationally defined as consistent display of calling and chasing by one squirrel toward all other squirrels within a particular area.A behavioral map of recorded observations revealed that each adult squirrel possessed an exclusive and clearly bounded area of land which it defended against all intruders. The Wilcoxin Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks Test revealed that the number of in-own-territory observations differed significantly from out-of-own-territory observations.The establishment of a feeding station in one territory led to confrontations among the red squirrels which eventually resulted in the exclusive possession of the feeding station by a squirrel from another territory. A dominance hierarchy was formed among the red squirrel, chipmunks, and birds at the feeding station.