Merrick, M.J. R.N.Gwinn, R.L. Minor, R.R. Jessen, T.G. Jessen, V.L. Greer, J. L. Koprowski. 2010. Endangered Mount Graham Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) uses nest following lightning strike. Southwestern Naturalist. 55: 123-124.


Melissa J. Merrick
R. Nathan Gwinn
Rebecca L. Minor
Rosa R. Jessen
Timothy G. Jessen
Vicki L. Greer
John L. Koprowski

Few studies have documented behavioral response of small mammals to fire. Here we report use of a nest by an adult Mount Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis), an endangered subspecies endemic to the Pinaleńo Mountains of southeastern Arizona, following a direct lightning strike to a tree. After 2 days, the squirrel nested in this tree and remained in the area for another 136 days. This is evidence that red squirrels may tolerate some degree of fire on the landscape.


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