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Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

I bet very few of you blog readers would surmise that state where I grew up, New Jersey, is still 40% forested despite being the 5th smallest in land mass and most densely human populated.........."Indeed,the Garden State(NJ nickname) while often maligned for its Turnpike-strewn array of industrial plants, still retains 2 million acres of woodland"........... "Ownership is evenly distributed among private (47 percent) and public (53 percent)"..........A healthy Black Bear, Eastern Coyote, Red and Gray Fox, Whitetail Deer, Wild Turkey, Beaver, River Otter, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, skunk, Weasel, gray squirrel, chipmunk and a wide array of other smaller mammals carve out a living in Jersey's open space habitat...........And I am happy to report that the state is wild and healthy enough to now also harbor a growing Bobcat and Eastern Fisher population.............Ecologist Emily Southgate Russell is noted for her pre-colonial research on THE VEGETATION OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY BEFORE EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT............And you can clearly visualize why there was a cornucopia of wildlife roaming the full of New Jersey's landmass as you read her descriptions of the diversity and density of fauna(then and now) that blanketed the region........."The land was forested except for scattered lowland meadows and clearings made by the Indians"............"Several Oak species dominated the forests"........"Chestnut was common in steeper areas and Hickory was common throughout".........."Hemlock and the northern hardwoods such as Sugar Maple and Beech wwere present but not abundant"............"Overall, the dominants of the 17th and early 18th century upland forests were similar to those in todays forests, but with more Chestnut and Hickory and less Birch and Maple"


New Jersey
Most Densely Populated U.S. States
Rank
State
People Per Square Mile
1
New Jersey
1,210
2
Rhode island
1,022
3
Massachusetts
871
4
Connecticut
742

THE HUDSON SKYLANDS(ORANGE
 ON ABOVE MAP) OF NEW JERSEY, WHICH
REMINDED THE EARLY EUROPEAN SETTLERS OF THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS OF EUROPE.....BOBCAT, WHITETAIL DEER, EASTERN COYOTE, GRAY AND RED FOXES AND BLACK BEARS CALL THE SKYLANDS AND ALL THE FORESTED REGIONS OF THE STATE HOME











Monday, February 18, 2019

Is the next step forward in wireless mobile telecommunications going to "jump the shark" in terms of endangering animal(human animal as well) and plant health?..............Is the planned 2020 rollout of 5G broadband celluar network platform being vetted properly to allay the health concerns of many healthcare professionals and biologists?..............."Until now, mobile broadband networks have been designed to meet the needs of people"................. "But 5G has been created with machines’ needs in mind, offering low-latency, high-efficiency data transfer"................ "It achieves this by breaking data down into smaller packages, allowing for faster transmission times"............"5G high frequency millemeter waves(MMWs) travel a short distance"................."Furthermore, they don’t travel well through buildings and tend to be absorbed by rain and plants, leading to signal interference"................"Thus, the necessary infrastructure would require many smaller, barely noticeable cell towers situated closer together, with more input and output ports than there are on the much larger, easier to see 4G towers".............."This would likely result in wireless antennas every few feet, on every lamp post and utility pole in your neighbourhood"..............."The new 5G technology utilizes higher-frequency MMW bands, which give off the same dose of radiation as airport scanners"................"The effects of this radiation on public health have yet to undergo the rigours of long-term testing"................."Adoption of 5G will mean more signals carrying more energy through the high-frequency spectrum, with more transmitters located closer to people’s homes and workplaces–basically a lot more (and more potent) radio frequency radiation (RFR) flying around us"................"It’s no wonder that apprehension exists over potential risks, to both human and environmental health"..........."The American Cancer Society’s understanding of radiation and cancer, and sparked them to state that our ignorance of RFR’s impact on human health could be compared to our previous obliviousness to the connection between smoking and lung cancer"........................."5G will potentially threaten natural ecosystems".............. "According to several reports over the last two decades–some of which are summarized here–low-level, non-ionizing microwave radiation affects bird and bee health"..................."It drives birds from their nests and causes plume deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship and death".............."And bee populations suffer from reduced egg-laying abilities of queen bees and smaller colony sizes"..............."More evidence of ecosystem disruption comes from a 2012 meta-study, which indicates that 593 of 919 research studies suggest that RFR adversely affects plants, animals and humans".............

https://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/dangers-of-5g/

FRIGHTENING FREQUENCIES: THE DANGERS OF 5G & WHAT YOU can do about them


By Jody McCutcheon
As the old saying goes, give us an inch and inevitably we’ll want a mile. And certainly, this sentiment is true with technology.
Who doesn’t want faster, bigger (or smaller), more efficient? Take wireless mobile telecommunications. Our current broadband cellular network platform, 4G (or fourth generation), allows us to transmit data faster than 3G and everything that preceded. We can access information faster now than ever before in history. What more could we want? Oh, yes, transmission speeds powerful enough to accommodate the (rather horrifying) so-called  Internet of Things. Which brings us to 5G.






Until now, mobile broadband networks have been designed to meet the needs of people. But 5G has been created with machines’ needs in mind, offering low-latency, high-efficiency data transfer. It achieves this by breaking data down into smaller packages, allowing for faster transmission times. Whereas 4G has a fifty-millisecond delay, 5G data transfer will offer a mere one-millisecond delay–we humans won’t notice the difference, but it will permit machines to achieve near-seamless communication. Which in itself  may open a whole Pandora’s box of trouble for us – and our planet.

More bandwidth – more dangers of 5G

Let’s start with some basic background on 5G technology. Faster processing speeds require more bandwidth, yet our current frequency bandwidths are quickly becoming saturated. The idea behind 5G is to use untapped bandwidth of the extremely high-frequency millimeter wave (MMW), between 30GHz and 300GHz, in addition to some lower and mid-range frequencies.
High-frequency MMWs travel a short distance. Furthermore, they don’t travel well through buildings and tend to be absorbed by rain and plants, leading to signal interference. Thus, the necessary infrastructure would require many smaller, barely noticeable cell towers situated closer together, with more input and output ports than there are on the much larger, easier to see 4G towers. This would likely result in wireless antennas every few feet, on every lamp post and utility pole in your neighbourhood.
Here are some numbers to put things into perspective: as of 2015, there were 308,000 wireless antennas on cell towers and buildings. That’s double the 2002 number. Yet 5G would require exponentially more, smaller ones, placed much closer together, with each emitting bursts of radiofrequency radiation (RFR)–granted, at levels much lower than that of today’s 4G cell towers–that will be much harder to avoid because these towers will be ubiquitous. If we could see the RFR, it would look like a smog that’s everywhere, all the time.

Serious health concerns

First, it’s important to know that in 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RFR as a potential 2B carcinogen and specified that the use of mobile phones could lead to specific forms of brain   tumors.
Many studies have associated low-level RFR exposure with a litany of health effects, including:
  • DNA single and double-strand breaks (which leads to cancer)
  • oxidative damage (which leads to tissue deterioration and premature ageing)
  • disruption of cell metabolism
  • increased blood-brain barrier permeability
  • melatonin reduction (leading to insomnia and increasing cancer risks)
  • disruption of brain glucose metabolism
  • generation of stress proteins (leading to myriad diseases)




















As mentioned, the new 5G technology utilizes higher-frequency MMW bands, which give off the same dose of radiation as airport scanners. The effects of this radiation on public health have yet to undergo the rigours of long-term testing. Adoption of 5G will mean more signals carrying more energy through the high-frequency spectrum, with more transmitters located closer to people’s homes and workplaces–basically a lot more (and more potent) RFR flying around us. It’s no wonder that apprehension exists over potential risks, to both human and environmental health.
Perhaps the strongest concern involves adverse effects of MMWs on human skin. This letter to the Federal Communications Commission, from Dr Yael Stein of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, outlines the main points. Over ninety percent of microwave radiation is absorbed by the epidermis and dermis layers, so human skin basically acts as an absorbing sponge for microwave radiation. Disquieting as this may sound, it’s generally considered acceptable so long as the violating wavelengths are greater than the skin layer’s dimensions. But MMW’s violate this condition.
Furthermore, the sweat ducts in the skin’s upper layer act like helical antennas, which are specialized antennas constructed specifically to respond to electromagnetic fields. With millions of sweat ducts, and 5G’s increased RFR needs, it stands to reason that our bodies will become far more conductive to this radiation. The full ramifications of this fact are presently unclear, especially for more vulnerable members of the public (e.g., babies, pregnant women, the elderly), but this technology
















Furthermore, MMWs may cause our pain receptors to flare up in recognition of the waves as damaging stimuli. Consider that the US Department of Defense already uses a crowd-dispersal method called the Active Denial System, in which MMWs are directed at crowds to make their skin feel like it’s burning, and also has the ability to basically microwave populations to death from afar with this technology if they choose to do so. And the telecommunications industry wants to fill our atmosphere with MMWs?

Other distressing research

Unfortunately, innocent animals have already been the victims of testing to see MMW’s effects on living cells. Extrapolating the results from animal testing to humans isn’t straightforward, but the results nonetheless raise some serious red flags. Perhaps most significantly, a US National Toxicology Program study noted that male rats exposed to RFR for nine hours a day over two years developed rare forms of tumours in the brain and heart, and rats of both sexes developed DNA damage.
The researchers noted that the increased risk to the rats was relatively small; but if these findings translate to humans, the widespread increase in cellphone use could have a significant impact on populations. Thus the NTP study served to renew the debate about the potential harmful effects of cellphones on human health. Not only that, it caused a significant shift in the American Cancer Society’s understanding of radiation and cancer, and sparked them to state that our ignorance of RFR’s impact on human health could be compared to our previous obliviousness to the connection between smoking and lung cancer.











Other animal research worldwide illustrates how microwave radiation in general and MMW’s in particular can damage the eyes and immune system, cell growth rate, even bacterial resistance. An experiment at the Medical Research Institute of Kanazawa Medical University showed that 60GHz millimeter-wave antennas produce thermal injuries in rabbit eyes, with thermal effects reaching below the eye’s surface. This study, meanwhile, suggests low-level MMW’s caused lens opacity–a precursor to cataracts–in rats’ eyes. A Chinese studydemonstrated that eight hours’ of microwave radiation damaged rabbits’ lens epithelial cells. A Pakistani studyconcluded that exposure to mobile phone EMF prevented chicken embryo retinal cells from properly differentiating.
This Russian study revealed that exposing healthy mice to low-intensity, extremely high-frequency electromagnetic radiation severely compromised their immune systems. And a 2016 Armenian study concluded that low-intensity MMW’s not only depressed the growth of E. coli and other bacteria, but also changed certain properties and activity levels of the cells. The same Armenian study noted that MMW interaction with bacteria could lead to antibiotic resistance–distressing news, considering immunity to bacteria is already compromised due to the overuse of antibiotics.
Again, if these findings translate to humans, our rampant cellphone use would likely cause profound, adverse health effects; an increase in MMW’s as more bandwidth is introduced could further complicate the matter. But what’s also important to note here is that 5G technologies will not only have a profound impact on human health, but on the health of all living organisms it touches, including plants, as we shall see.

5G harms the planet, too

Equally disturbing, 5G technology puts environmental health at risk in a number of ways. First, MMWs may pose a serious threat to plant health. This 2010 study showed that the leaves of aspen seedlings exposed to RFR exhibited symptoms of necrosis, while another Armenian study suggested low-intensity MMW’s cause “peroxidase isoenzyme spectrum changes”–basically a stress response that damages cells–in wheat shoots. Plant irradiation is bad news for the planet’s flora, but it’s bad news for us, too: it could contaminate our food supply.








Second, the 5G infrastructure would pose a threat to our planet’s atmosphere. Network implementation will require the deployment of many, short-lifespan satellites via suborbital rockets propelled by hydrocarbon rocket engines. According to this 2010 California study, launching too many of these babies will vomit enough black carbon into the atmosphere to pollute global atmospheric conditions, affecting distribution of ozone and temperature. Worse, solid-state rocket exhaust contains chlorine, an ozone-destroying chemical. How can any government seriously concerned about climate change allow for this?
Third, 5G will potentially threaten natural ecosystems. According to several reports over the last two decades–some of which are summarized here–low-level, non-ionizing microwave radiation affects bird and bee health. It drives birds from their nests and causes plume deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship and death. And bee populations suffer from reduced egg-laying abilities of queen bees and smaller colony sizes. More evidence of ecosystem disruption comes from this 2012 meta-study, which indicates that 593 of 919 research studies suggest that RFR adversely affects plants, animals and humans.
It bears repeating: 5G is bad news for all living creatures and the planet we share.

Beware the propaganda deluge

Despite being fully aware of all these unsettling results, threats and concerns, the US corporatocracy continues to maintain a gung-ho attitude about 5G. The Mobile Now Act was passed in 2016, and many US states have since gone ahead with 5G plans. The telecom industry’s biggest players have basically co-opted government powers to enforce their 5G agenda, with companies like AT&T and Qualcomm having begun live testing. And despite research showing serious threats to humans and the planet, the FCC Chairman announced intentions to open low-, mid- and high-frequency spectrums, without even mentioning a single word about the dangers.








They’re going to sell this to us as ‘faster browsing speeds’ – but the truth is, you’ll barely even notice the difference. They’re going to call anyone who protests against 5G a ‘Luddite’ or ‘technophobe’. But why such a willingness to embrace another new technology   – even though it carries serious risks and brings spurious benefits? Why not heed the lessons learned from killer products like asbestos, tobacco and leaded gasoline?
Because a tiny percentage of people will gain an awful lot of money, is one reason. And because companies and governments will be given unprecedented amounts of power over civilians is the other.
All isn’t doom and gloom, though. At least one US politician is maintaining some level-headedness: in October, California Governor Jerry Brown stopped legislation that would have allowed the telecom industry to inundate the state with mini-towers. Brown’s bold actions have permitted localities a say in where and how many cell towers are placed.
The state of Hawaii has stopped 5G and smart meters by collectively threatening to charge every person who installed such meters with liability for any health problems residents may suffer. Moreover, 180 scientists have started a petition to warn of 5G potential health effects. Maybe these actions will afford more time for additional studies and data collection. Just as importantly, maybe they’ll cause other politicians and figureheads to reflect on what they’ve been pushing for.

Take action

In the meantime, we as individuals must do everything we can to protect ourselves. Here’s what you can do:
  • Understand EMFs and their behaviours. Get a good quality radiation detector to know whether or not you’re near high levels of EMFs.
  • Protect yourself with an EMF Shield to mark and protect you from hotspots. Try a patented product that neutralizes the harmful effects of mobile phones and other EMF emitting devices on humans.
  • Whenever possible, limit your exposure: use an anti-radiation headset or speaker mode while talking on a cellphone.
  • Refuse to use 5G phones and devices. Full stop. And discourage those you know from doing so.
  • Refuse to buy anything ‘smart’ – ‘smart’ appliances, ‘smart’ heaters, etc.
  • Some believe that carrying shungite crystals can offer some protection from radiation
  • No matter what, do NOT get a smart meter – these put high levels of 5G radiation right in your home
  • Join the growing numbers of dissenters. Get active with them here.
  • Do as the Hawaiians have done and threaten smart meter and 5G tech installers with liability. You canlearn how to do that here.
  • Spread the word! Please share this article with everyone you know
Even if the policy drivers and governments aren’t doing their due diligence, at least we can say we’re doing ours.
Sources

"Recent Wolf-Wolverine predator/prey research on Alaska's North Slope conducted by The Wildlfe Conservation Society(WCS) has revealed that Wolverines are a FACULTATIVE SCAVENGER, eating carrion when available, but also quite capbable of hunting their own prey(they can kill a caribou 10 times their size)"............"Through track-transect surveys, a group at the University of Oulu in Finland found that wolverines prefer areas that are occupied by wolves over those that aren’t"..........."We also know wolves benefit wolverines by creating scavenging opportunities, thanks to a Norwegian group that analyzed wolverine scat both inside and outside of wolf-occupied areas in 2008"..............."Wolverines are sensitive to Wolf frequency and duration of stay at their(wolf) kill sites".............."Wolverines are able to optimize their life-span if they are able to get to wolf-killed carcass sites after the wolves have left, but before the ravens and foxes have picked it bare".............."After a successful scavenge at a wolf kill, a Wolverine will often seek protection from Wolves by tunneling into their deeply dug snow den, excavated 10 feet or more down under the hard crusted snowpack"

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/wolves-and-wolverines-a-complicated-relationship/&ct=ga&cd=CAEYACoUMTM5NzgxODU0NjQwNDUzMDAwMjcyGmI4ODE2MjNmMGFjMTM5MTQ6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNF_0dQQ5AViNw5ddXUJ3y-RDIuTEw



Wolves and Wolverines: A Complicated Relationship


The larger mammal will prey on the smaller, but wolverines prefer areas occupied by wolves over areas that aren’t


I stood up on my snow machine as we approached, back straightened and muscles tensed. One of our satellite-collared wolverines, a young female named Avalanche, had stopped moving 48 hours ago, long enough to warrant investigation. Now, after a cold, hour-long ride from our base camp, we were greeted by a conspicuous mound of black and brown fur. My heart sank.

A wolverine feeds from the carcass of a caribou killed by wolves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: Peter Mathe








Our effort is part of a larger Wildlife Conservation Society program in Alaska. We’re combining intensive field studies, cutting-edge wildlife research technology, and the knowledge of indigenous peoples to better understand the ecology of this remarkable species on the harsh Arctic tundra, in habitats that include the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve. Only through such efforts can we learn how to effectively protect these animals, and other iconic wildlife, in these expansive, largely undeveloped places. Ours is the first collar-based research effort on the Arctic tundra since 1981, so our days often bring surprises.
When we arrived at the scene, Avalanche lay on her back, front paws extended, as though frozen mid-bound. A red gash ran across her neck and, transferring her carefully to the back of my snow machine, I could feel that her body was savagely broken. Dense wolf tracks nearby clearly marked her struggle. After five weeks of watching her small red dot move around a map on my computer screen, of visiting the snow dens she slept in, marveling at the caribou she killed, and collecting her scat for analysis, I held back tears.
the wolverine at night, captured by a motion-activated camera, in one of the last photographs taken before her death. Credit: Tom Glass/WCS




Wolves are a common predator of wolverines, but the relationship is more complicated than simply predator-prey. Across their range, wolverines can be seen tentatively approaching days-old wolf kills, crunching bones and tearing at leftover flesh. They are what is considered a “facultative scavenger”—they eat carrion when it’s available but are quite capable of hunting their own prey when it’s not.
Although it’s difficult to examine interspecific relationships of wide-ranging species such as these in the wild, scientists have learned a lot in the last decade thanks to some innovative studies. Through track-transect surveys, a group at the University of Oulu in Finland found that wolverines prefer areas that are occupied by wolves over those that aren’t. We also know wolves benefit wolverines by creating scavenging opportunities, thanks to a Norwegian group that analyzed wolverine scat both inside and outside of wolf-occupied areas in 2008.
Wolves present a threat to wolverines and the smaller and often more solitary animal must respond accordingly. By placing motion-activated cameras at wolf-killed moose carcasses, a bachelor’s student from Hedmark University College in Norway recently revealed that wolverines are sensitive to the frequency and duration of the wolves’ visits. The wolverines, in fact, moderate their enthusiasm for food (which is legendary, and the root of their Latin name Gulo) in accordance with the risk of being killed.
Much of wolverines’ ability to strike this balance with wolves probably has to do with their sense of timing; get to the carcass after the wolves have left, but before the ravens and foxes have picked it bare.
Here on Alaska’s North Slope, Avalanche’s timing was off. The snow surrounding her body was packed hard with wolf tracks, and the remains of a freshly killed caribou lay 50 feet away. When we had caught her five weeks before, we had interpreted her clean, unchipped teeth and small mammaries as indications of her youth. Perhaps this lesson, of wolves and timing, was one she simply hadn’t learned yet.
As we rode back across the tundra, I thought over the last month of Avalanche’s life, this brief glimpse into a wolverine’s world that we had been offered. Avalanche, like all of our study animals, had used snow holes extensively. During the five weeks she had been collared, she traveled 221 miles, and we visited 20 GPS clusters (locations where she had spent more than 40 minutes). At 19 of these, she had dug down into the snow, possibly to retrieve a cached bone, to find a peaceful place to rest, or to avoid wolves. These sites were typically in deep drifts, and her dens were excavated 10 feet or more into the snowpack, narrow tunnels and small caverns, protected by a hard wind crust.
Motion-activated camera image of a wolf investigating a wolverine's den. Credit: Tom Glass/WCS.




At several of these sites, wolves visited. We saw them on our motion-activated cameras and we saw their tracks in the snow. At one site, Avalanche sat inside a snow hole adjacent to a cliff while a wolf paced back and forth just below. At another, a wolf paid a midnight visit to a hole that Avalanche had just vacated. We had previously thought that these snow holes were simply resting sites, but at least in the cases when wolves came to visit, they had provided the shelter necessary for her to avoid being killed.
I am awed by wolverines. No bigger than a cocker spaniel, they hunt and kill caribou up to 10 times their size.  They may travel 18 to 25 miles in a day on legs only as long as your forearm. One of our study animals traversed Alaska’s North Slope in 11 weeks last spring, effectively traveling the distance from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta.
Though I contest their typical characterization as ferocious and mean, they are undoubtedly endurance machines. They choose some of the most expansive, challenging and beautifully intact natural landscapes on Earth for their homes, and in many ways we are still grasping to understand how their living is made. If there’s any lesson in Avalanche’s story, wolves and snow are surely at its heart.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Yesterday we examined how young Red Squirrels can live longer and prosper due to taking over an abandoned Male Red Squirrel's midden -----Today, we focus on the ubiquitous Eastern and Western Gray Squirrel whose very social behaviour(tolerant of other gray squirrels when foraging for food) contrasts to the very territorial Red Squirrel, who will seek to drive out any squirrel species that enters its fiercely guarded territory..........."The difference in social behavior between the two species likely stems from a difference in feeding habits"..............."The buds, leaves, fruit, and seeds of deciduous trees, all favorite foods of the gray squirrel, are normally abundant from spring through fall, though they change as tree species flower and fruit at different times"..........."The amount of mast(nuts) fluctuates from year to year, and it’s an advantage for gray squirrels to be able to travel around their home ranges to forage without interference from other squirrels".............."During winter, gray squirrels usually rely on cached nuts, which they hide from other squirrels by burying them individually in scattered locations"................."Red squirrels prefer the small seeds of conifers like spruce and fir, which they remove by turning the cones in their front paws and chewing off the scales, much like we eat corn on the cob".............."They store large piles of cones(middens) so the seeds will be available year-round, and so they must defend this larder and the trees they harvest the cones from"



The Sociable Gray Squirrel



The Sociable Gray Squirrel
Illustration by Adelaide Tyrol
On winter mornings when I look out my window, I often see a gray squirrel clinging upside down to the post supporting my bird feeder, with his front paws in the tray, munching sunflower seeds. Sometimes, a much smaller red squirrel is perched on the opposite side of the feeder.
This brings to mind my studies of squirrels years ago and the differences between the two species. For my thesis in biology at Williams College, I conducted a field study of social behavior and organization in the eastern gray squirrel in a suburban area in Williamstown, Massachusetts. My first step was to live-trap and mark squirrels so I could identify individuals. Using peanut butter as bait, I captured 34 gray squirrels, weighed them (inside the trap), and checked underneath for their sex. To mark them, I attached the live-trap to a wire cone. Once the squirrel was in the cone, I dabbed a spot of black hair dye in a different location on each squirrel and assigned a number to it. After this quick procedure, I released them.

Eastern Gray Squirrel




















 Eastern Gray Squirrel range map













Western Gray Squirrel

















Western Gray Squirrel range map















That fall and winter, I spent many hours wandering around my study area with binoculars, a notebook, and a chart of squirrel markings, looking for “my squirrels,” often eliciting odd looks from other students. I observed 500 social interactions between gray squirrels. The majority of these interactions were not aggressive – feeding or resting in close proximity, social grooming, and play. Aggressive behavior like chasing was observed mostly between resident squirrels and transient squirrels, between males competing for females during the winter breeding period, or during contests for food at a bird feeder. There was a high degree of tolerance and association among gray squirrels, a finding confirmed by other researchers.

 I often observed several squirrels feeding peacefully on maple seeds or apples in the same tree. Five squirrels (probably a mother, her two spring-born young, and her two summer-born young) shared a den cavity in a big silver maple. Once, I saw three of them gathering leaves and following each other up the tree to line their den hole. This tree was conveniently located outside the house I lived in, so I could observe the squirrels from my window when they emerged at daybreak while I sat in a comfortable chair sipping tea.

Eastern Coyotes keep Eastern Squirrel populations in check















Some researchers have observed a dominance hierarchy among gray squirrels based on sex and age, though these studies were conducted at artificial feeders – a concentrated food source. I did not discover clear evidence of a pecking order and concluded that it may only function in times of food scarcity.
I plotted my sightings of each squirrel on a map and discovered that the home ranges overlapped considerably, a finding consistent with other studies. Gray squirrels are not territorial; they do not exclude others from their home ranges, though nursing females will defend den trees.
I also recorded interactions between gray squirrels and red squirrels. Half of these encounters were aggressive, and in most of these, the smaller red squirrel initiated the conflict. Red squirrels also chattered a warning when a gray squirrel entered the vicinity. In contrast to the sociable gray squirrel, red squirrels are territorial in their preferred habitat – pure coniferous forest – and vigorously defend forest patches from other squirrels.

A Westen Coyote in Yosemite Ntl. Park with a Western
Gray Squirrel kill














The difference in social behavior between the two species likely stems from a difference in feeding habits. The buds, leaves, fruit, and seeds of deciduous trees, all favorite foods of the gray squirrel, are normally abundant from spring through fall, though they change as tree species flower and fruit at different times. The amount of mast fluctuates from year to year, and it’s an advantage for gray squirrels to be able to travel around their home ranges to forage without interference from other squirrels. During winter, gray squirrels usually rely on cached nuts, which they hide from other squirrels by burying them individually in scattered locations.
Red squirrels prefer the small seeds of conifers like spruce and fir, which they remove by turning the cones in their front paws and chewing off the scales, much like we eat corn on the cob. They store large piles of cones so the seeds will be available year-round, and so they must defend this larder and the trees they harvest the cones from.
Of course feeding habits and social behavior can change when humans tip the scales, which brings us back to the gray and red squirrels feeding within a foot of each other at my feeder, something not usually seen in nature.

Susan Shea is a naturalist, writer, and conservationist who lives in Brookfield, Vermont.

"A young Red Squirrel lucky enough to take over territory from an adult male Red Squirrel is like a teenager falling into a big inheritance, according to a new University of Guelph study"............"Researchers found that if a squirrel inherits territory from a male rather than a female, it will have about 1,300 more cones in its midden"..............."This stored energy will keep the squirrel alive an extra 17 days"............"For females, it means she will have enough food to breed earlier, resulting in her offspring leaving the nest earlier"............"This shows how the behavior of a complete stranger can impact the genetic contribution of another"

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/ecology/~3/AwycV1hKo-k/190213132157.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

In the squirrel world, prime real estate is determined by previous owner, study reveals

Date:
February 13, 2019
Source:
University of Guelph


This is a Red Squirrel's midden with news cones.
Credit: Kluane Red Squirrel Project








Researchers found male squirrels store more food than females, and if a young squirrel leaving the nest nabs a storage spot previously owned by a male squirrel, they will increase their lifetime pup production by 50 per cent.





"It's like buying a home and finding a big pile of money buried in the walls," said integrative biology professor Andrew McAdam, who worked on the study with lead author David Fisher, a former U of G post doc. "The previous owner of where you live can significantly impact how well off you are, at least in the squirrel world."
Published in the journal Ecology Letters, the study involved hundreds of North American red squirrels.
It is part of the Kluane Red Squirrel Project, a long-term study in the Yukon investigating the ecology and evolution of red squirrels. Started by the University of Alberta in 1987, the project brings together scientists from several universities, including the University of Guelph, University of Michigan, and University of Saskatchewan to monitor behaviour and reproduction of hundreds of individually marked squirrels.
For this study, Fisher and colleagues measured the food stores and reproductive outcome of young squirrels that took over real estate previously owned by either males or females who disappeared.
Squirrels collect spruce cones in the fall and store them in the ground in a "midden" for winter. A hoard can contain more than 20,000 cones, and they can remain edible for several years, said Fisher
"Good thing too, because spruce trees produce cones in boom-bust patterns. There are more bust than boom years, so if squirrels don't store enough in the boom years they won't have enough food to survive the bust years."
It's common for squirrels to take over the territories of other squirrels after they die and in taking over another squirrel's territory, they also inherit their food stores, added Fisher.
"We have seen a food store last as long as 31 years -- as long as we have been studying these squirrels -- and owned by 13 different squirrels over that time period," said McAdam.
In this study, researchers found that if a squirrel inherits its territory from a male rather than a female, it will have around 1,300 more cones on average in its midden. This stored energy will keep the squirrel alive for an extra 17 days.
The study also revealed that squirrels at their prime, which is three to four years old, have more cones than younger and older squirrels. This difference means squirrels that inherit their territory from a squirrel that died in mid-age inherit a larger cone store than those that inherit from a young or old squirrel.
"If a female squirrel is lucky enough to take over this prime real estate, then she will have lots of food, which allows her to breed earlier," said McAdam. "This means her offspring will leave the nest early and they will have improved survival rates. Essentially, it will improve this squirrel's genetic contribution to the next generation."
These finding show how the behavior of one squirrel can impact the genetic contribution to the population of another squirrel they have never met, said Fisher.
"Ultimately, the food hoarding behaviour of a squirrel you have never met, and that may have even died before you were born, can impact your chances of survival."
Journal Reference:
  1. David N. Fisher, Jessica A. Haines, Stan Boutin, Ben Dantzer, Jeffrey E. Lane, David W. Coltman, Andrew G. McAdam. Indirect effects on fitness between individuals that have never met via an extended phenotypeEcology Letters, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/ele.13
RED SQUIRREL MIDDENS