Nocturnal Activity and Foraging Patterns of the Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) in the Saint John Abbey Arboretum

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The Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) is a small nocturnal sciurid averaging 60-80 grams in adults, with the average length between 198-215 mm. The research conducted was designed to look at the impact of a man-made road through their habitat area, look at night time foraging patterns, and winter aggregation. We hypothesized that the Old Saint John’s road was large enough to create a physical barrier between groups of squirrels on either side of the road. Out of eleven total recaptures, four were across the road from their original trap site. The fact that more than 35% of recaptures were across the road suggests that the width of the man-made paved road had little impact on the flying squirrels’ habitat range, and that there was no division in the population. Squirrels were then radio collared using the same method, and monitored on twelve random nights at different times. The data taken helped to perfect a collaring method, notice the nocturnal activity of the squirrel, and to see which trees the squirrels preferred (which ended up being snags). Lastly, the nest boxes were placed to help us in radio collaring and see winter aggregation. The squirrels did not use the nest boxes through the winter so future studies need to be conducted to see whether they use them or not.