Reintroductions of the Endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel in Maryland

Reintroductions of Delmarva fox squirrels (Sciurus niger cinereus) to suitable habitat have been a recovery tool used for this endangered species. In Maryland, we attempted reintroductions at 11 sites beginning in 1978. The last reintroduction was completed in 1992. At each site, 8-42 individuals were released during spring or fall over a 1-3 year period. Attempts were made to release an equal number of males and females. Monitoring at reintroduction sites by live-trapping has documented recruitment and establishment of populations at 9 sites. Criteria used for determining population establishment follows that of the Delmarva Fox Squirrel Recovery Plan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1993). Because 7 of these populations were established with <24 individuals, supplemental releases of Delmarva fox squirrels were conducted to bolster genetic diversity. This paper summarizes the history of Delmarva fox squirrel reintroductions in Maryland, provides the results of recent live-trapping efforts at the sites, and discusses success of these efforts.

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