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

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Panek, Karen Christine
thesis / dissertation description
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.