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Movements and Habitat Use of Franklin's
Ground Squirrels in Duck-Nesting Habitat

Jane Chormanski-Norris, Erik K. Fritzell, and Alan B. Sargeant


Abstract: We used radio telemetry to determine the movements and habitat use patterns of adult Franklin's ground squirrels (Spermophilus franklinii) on a 152-ha Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) in central North Dakota. The squirrels were diurnal. Mean total distance traveled daily was 213 and 153 m for males and females, respectively. Movements of females decreased during gestation and lactation; those of both sexes decreased prior to immergence. Annual home ranges averaged 24.6 and 8.7 ha for males and females, respectively; biweekly home-range sizes exhibited seasonal patterns. Ground squirrels restricted their activities almost exclusively to the WPA. Use of blocks of herbaceous cover on the WPA could not be explained by vegetation height, density, or litter depth. Ground squirrel movements were influenced by locations of burrow systems and patchily distributed food resources. Periodic cultivation or removal of herbaceous vegetation may inhibit use of upland duck-nesting habitat by ground squirrels.
This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 0728):
Choromanski-Norris, Jane, Erik K. Fritzell, and Alan B. Sargeant.  1989.  
     Movements and habitat use of franklin's ground squirrels in duck-
     nesting habitat.  Journal of Wildlife Management 53(2):324-331.

This resource should be cited as:

Choromanski-Norris, Jane, Erik K. Fritzell, and Alan B. Sargeant.  1989.  
     Movements and habitat use of franklin's ground squirrels in duck-
     nesting habitat.  Journal of Wildlife Management 53(2):324-331.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/fgsquirl/index.htm
     (Version 02APR2002).

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Jane Chormanski-Norris* and Erik K. Fritzell, School of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
Alan B. Sargeant, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND 58402

* Present address: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155


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