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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 
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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P21) Evaluating Nest-switching Behavior and Microhabitat Partitioning of Southern Flying Squirrels in West-central Illinois

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AUTHORS. Katherine Rexroad, Western Illinois University; Shelli Dubay, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Christopher Jacques, Western Illinois University

ABSTRACT. Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans; SFS) are forest-dependent, nocturnal, non-hibernating, arboreal mammals that den in tree cavities.  Previous studies suggest that several structural attributes of overstory hardwood trees are essential to SFS life-history needs, especially locomotion, den site selection, and food sources.  Nevertheless, little information is available on the influence of vegetation structure on microhabitat use across fragmented Midwestern landscapes.  To date, no studies have evaluated whether proximate factors (e.g., structural differences in overstory vegetation) influence microhabitat partitioning between activity areas of male and female SFS across Midwestern landscapes.  The goal of this research is continue the long-term SFS research program to better understand the additive or antagonistic effects of intrinsic factors (sex, age, nutritional condition), microhabitat features, habitat fragmentation, and parasite loads on home range dynamics and nest-switching behavior of SFS.  Specific project objectives include 1) quantifying nest occupancy patterns, and rates of nest switching/reuse by SFS between sexes and across activity areas, 2) investigating associations between microhabitat (tree diameter-at-breast height, snag density, tree height, availability of mast trees), habitat fragmentation (patch size, distance to nearest habitat edge) and home range (size, shape) metrics of SFS, and 3) estimating prevalence and intensity of infection with parasites in local populations of SFS.  Increasing basic knowledge of interactions and interrelationships between intrinsic and habitat effects on SFS nesting patterns, particularly in regions characterized by low habitat quality and animal densities will provide greater insight into future conservation strategies for SFS along the western boundary of their geographic range.  

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
  Poster, Behavior

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