Comparative Ecology of Gray Squirrels in Urban Areas in the Gwynns Falls Watershed
Tommy S. Parker and Charles H. Nilon

Tree squirrels are an important part of the fauna of forest patches in North American and European cities. Squirrels use forest patches and parks for resources in urban areas and also influence habitat and patch structure. Our study is part of a larger project studying population characteristics of gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in forest patches in cities where they are native (Baltimore) and where they are exotics (London). We have been studying population density, wariness, intraspecific aggression and habitat use in two matrix types in urban areas. Study sites were patches similar in size (2 - 6ha), percent canopy cover (40 - 65%) and located within in a matrix that extends a minimum of 2km from the perimeter of the patch. Each matrix was categorized by the percent paved and unpaved area present (TYPE I: paved area greater than unpaved area; TYPE 2: paved area less than unpaved area). Density was found to be a predictor of wariness and aggression (R2=.7177). Results from the first two years of sampling will be presented.


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