Time budgets, activity periods, and behavior of Mexican fox squirrels

John L. Koprowski, Michelle C. Corse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Resources that limit reproductive success differ between the sexes in many vertebrates. We used focal animal observations to determine sex-specific activity periods, time budgets, and movements of endemic Mexican fox squirrels (Sciurus nayaritensis chiricahuae) in montane forests of southeastern Arizona during June, August, and December 1994 and January 1995. Activity periods during summer were bimodal with peaks in morning and afternoon separated by a midday lull in activity; winter activity was unimodal. No sex differences were detected in activity periods, although males retired later than females in winter. Resting, feeding, and locomotion were the most common behaviors and accounted for >75% of activities of each sex. Activity by females did not differ between seasons. Males spent more time in locomotion in summer and more time feeding in winter than in other seasons. Differences in time budgets of the sexes suggest that males and females apportion daily activity to maximize access to resources that limit fitness of each sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-952
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Arizona
  • Sciurus nayaritensis
  • Sex differences
  • Sexual dimorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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