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The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
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Wednesday, October 24 • 8:00am - 8:20am
Wildlife 4 Track: Eastern Gray Squirrel Survival in a Hunted Ecosystem

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AUTHORS: Sarah B. Wilson, Stephen S. Ditchkoff, Robert A. Gitzen, Todd D. Steury – School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University

ABSTRACT: Though the eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is a popular game species throughout its range, little is known about environmental factors that may affect its survival. We investigated survival and predation of a hunted population of eastern gray squirrels on Lowndes Wildlife Management Area in central Alabama from July 2015- April 2017. This area experiences flooding conditions starting in November and ending September of the next year, which could influence individual survival. The Kaplan-Meier survival estimate at 365 days for all squirrels was 0.25 (0.14-0.44, 95% CL) which is within the range for previously studied eastern gray squirrel populations (0.20-0.58). There was no significant difference between male (0.13; 0.05-0.36, 95% CL) and female survival (0.37; 0.18-0.75, 95% CL, P = 0.16). Survival was greatest in summer (1.00) and fall (0.65; 0.29-1.0, 95% CL) and least during winter (0.23; 0.11-0.50, 95% CL). We did find squirrels were more likely to die during the flood season and mortality risk increased as flood extent throughout the study area increased. Over 60% of mortalities were due to predation, which is comparable to other Sciurus species. When managing populations of eastern gray squirrels, it is important to consider the effect of environmental factors, such as flooding, on survival.

Wednesday October 24, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am CDT
Bon Secour Bay II

Attendees (2)