Influences of mating strategy on space use of Arizona gray squirrels

Nichole L. Cudworth, John L. Koprowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Space use frequently differs between sexes and may reflect differences in parental investment and limiting resources. We examined Arizona gray squirrels (Sciurus arizonensis) from April 2007 to December 2008 to determine effects of mating strategy on patterns of home-range size and overlap. Home ranges were large compared to those of congeners, suggesting an environment with low availability and predictability of resources, and differed by sex and season. Females maintained smaller home ranges overlapped more by males than females; overlap by male home ranges increased during the breeding season. Males had larger home ranges that overlapped females more than males; home-range size and overlap of both sexes increased during the breeding season. Additionally, male Arizona gray squirrels appear to respond to the distribution of females by enlarging home ranges to maximize proportion of females overlapped. Consequently, Arizona gray squirrels conform to theoretical predictions, with female space use influenced by access to food and male space use influenced by access to mates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1241
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 15 2010


  • Arizona
  • Sciurus arizonensis
  • mating system
  • reproductive strategy
  • resource limitation
  • sex differences
  • squirrel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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