Return of Historical Fire: Impacts of Burn Severity and Heterogeneity on Mexican Fox Squirrels
AuthorDoumas, Sandra L.
Chiricahua fox squirrel
Sciurus nayaritensis chiricahuae
AdvisorKoprowski, John L.
Committee ChairKoprowski, John L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAfter decades of suppression, fire is returning to forests of western United States. Understanding responses of wildlife species to fire is essential to native species conservation because contemporary fires may not have the same effects on forest structure and landscape patterns as historical fires. I used radio-telemetry to investigate effects of fire severity and heterogeneity on habitat selection of Mexican fox squirrels, Sciurus nayaritensis chiricahuae. Vegetation within home ranges was characterized by more open understory and larger trees than random locations. Squirrels used areas burned at low severity more than unburned areas and those burned at higher severities. Squirrels used areas of moderate burn heterogeneity more than areas of low or high heterogeneity. Return of low-severity fire can help restore habitat for Mexican fox squirrels and other native species in forests with a historical regime of low-severity fire and contribute to understanding of the role of fire in forest ecosystems.
Degree ProgramNatural Resources