The behavior of displaced gray squirrels

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


From September 24, 1971, to February 15, 1972, 53 gray squirrels were trapped, marked, and displaced up to 7,120 feet from their home woodlot to other woodlots on the College Farm of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Twenty-three (43%) remained where released. Nine (17%) homed. Four were displaced a second time; none returned. No squirrel homed more than 3,624 feet. More females (52%) establi~hed residence than males (27%). More juveniles (64%) established residence than either adults (36%) or subadults (33%). Most squirrels that homed (67%) took less than 14 days. More squirrels homed when released in the winter (44%) than in the fall. More males (23%) homed than females (10%). More adults (18%) and subadults (17%) homed than juveniles (9%). Movements between woodlots seemed more than random wandering. Traveling squirrels did not use cover lanes exclusively. More females (61%) were observed in more and won more (36%) agonistic encounters than males were observed in (39%) and won (17%). More juveniles (71%) engaged in agonistic encounters than either adults (42%) or subadults (50%). More agonistic encounters (45%) were won more than 30 days after release than before 30 days (16%). One adult male, 1 adult female, 1 subadult male, 2 subadult females, and. 1 juvenile female were observed in sexual encounters where released.