Characteristics of mount graham red squirrel nest sites in a mixed conifer forest

Melissa J. Merrick, Sadie R. Bertelsen, John L. Koprowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The Mount Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) is constrained to the Pinaleño Mountains in southeastern Arizona, USA. The population's endangered status and extensive forest damage from insects and fire warrants a better understanding of habitat variables important for nest site selection. We examined characteristics of cavity (n = 91) and drey (n = 38) nests and compared these to random sites (n = 113). Dreys were found primarily in Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and corkbark fir (Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica). Cavity nests occurred primarily in aspen (Populus tremuloides) and corkbark fir. Squirrels selected nest sites with higher canopy cover and more corkbark fir, decayed logs, and living trees. Forest management plans emphasizing thinning must consider how altering these habitat characteristics could affect availability and suitability of tree stands for nesting squirrels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1958-1963
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Arizona
  • Endangered species
  • Habitat selection
  • Mount Graham red squirrel
  • Nest-site selection
  • Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


Dive into the research topics of 'Characteristics of mount graham red squirrel nest sites in a mixed conifer forest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this