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Tuesday, January 26 • 10:20am - 10:40am
Mortality Rates of Squirrels on Hunted and Non-Hunted Sites in Southeast Minnesota

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AUTHORS: Ryan Tebo*, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Marrett Grund, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Although squirrels are commonly hunted throughout the United States, the effects of varying harvest rates on squirrel population densities and long-term yields are not well documented. The primary objective of our study is to compare mortality rates of squirrels from a wildlife management area where hunting is permitted and at a nearby park where hunting is prohibited. We captured gray and fox squirrels using live traps at Whitewater Wildlife Management Area and at Whitewater State Park during July-September 2015. At the onset of the 2015 squirrel hunting season, there were 43 radiocollared squirrels at the wildlife management area and 40 radiocollared squirrels at the park. The survival status will be determined weekly and survival data will be compared between sites using a nest survival model in Program Mark. We intend to capture another 100 squirrels in 2016 and monitor radiocollared squirrels through May 2017. We will present capture techniques and data that depict mortality patterns from the beginning of the hunting season through December 2015. We anticipate the results from this study will help us define an appropriate harvest strategy for squirrels in southeast Minnesota.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 10:20am - 10:40am EST