Home Ranges of the Endangered Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel

A cluster of small populations of the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus) was discovered 1989 along the scenic Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina, in northern hardwood and mixed hardwood-hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) habitats not previously known to support this subspecies. I examined home range of this subspecies from September 1994-March 1996. Based on the Minimum Convex Polygon method, mean annual home range size was 13.9 ha (N = 7), mean summer home range size was 8.3 ha (N = 6), and mean winter home range was 12.5 ha (N = 4). I found no evidence to indicate northern flying squirrels crossed or attempted to cross the right-of-way associated with the Cherohala Skyway. Managers should consider large areas of north-facing high-elevation northern hardwood and mixed northern hardwood forest as potential suitable habitat for G. s. coloratus. Though preliminary, my findings provide additional insight into ecology of this rare flying squirrel associated with atypical habitats and indicate roadways may act as a barrier to northern flying squirrels.

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