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

Management Implications


Establishing and maintaining DNC on the WPA created an excellent habitat for Franklin's ground squirrels. With few exceptions, the radio-equipped ground squirrels restricted their movements to the WPA. Because of intensive farming in the surrounding area, the WPA was an island of habitat for Franklin's ground squirrels and upland-nesting ducks. Thus, habitat management practices aimed at benefiting ducks also benefited a predator of duck eggs. A rotational management scheme that would negatively affect ground squirrels, but maintain quality duck-nesting habitat, could possibly be developed. Annual soil disturbance, especially plowing, would probably destroy burrow systems and retard habitation of areas by ground squirrels, but would also negatively affect duck nesting cover for short periods. Periodic burning or haying of ground squirrel habitat, in areas where adjacent cover is not available as a refuge for squirrels, may offer potential for ground squirrel management.
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