Event Title

Temperature Effects on Gray Squirrel Capture Rates in Sandhill Wildlife Area, Babcock, WI

Mentor 1

Shelli Dubay

Mentor 2

Tim Ginnett

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

The eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is an important game species in many states. In Wisconsin, the hunting season for eastern gray squirrels is open between mid-September and late January. Since 2002, long term research in Sandhill Wildlife Area, Babcock, Wisconsin, has been focused on collecting data pertaining to the live capture of eastern gray squirrels. Data have included individual squirrel information such as sex, age, weight, trap number, and trapping instance such as open bait absent, tripped bait present, tripped bait absent, and captures of non-target species. General information such as trap times, cloud cover, precipitation events, wind speed, and temperature were also recorded. We live trap squirrels during the winter months form late January through March, until the snow melts. Traps are open between the temperature ranges of 0 F and about 35 F to reduce the risk of snow melting on a squirrel, putting it at risk for hypothermia. We will determine if gray squirrel captures are correlated with temperature using a linear regression. If we identify a temperature range where most squirrels are trapped, we may be able to optimize capture success by trapping during a narrow range of temperatures. Additionally, squirrel hunters might optimize success by hunting during a temperature range when squirrels are more active.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Temperature Effects on Gray Squirrel Capture Rates in Sandhill Wildlife Area, Babcock, WI

Union Wisconsin Room

The eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is an important game species in many states. In Wisconsin, the hunting season for eastern gray squirrels is open between mid-September and late January. Since 2002, long term research in Sandhill Wildlife Area, Babcock, Wisconsin, has been focused on collecting data pertaining to the live capture of eastern gray squirrels. Data have included individual squirrel information such as sex, age, weight, trap number, and trapping instance such as open bait absent, tripped bait present, tripped bait absent, and captures of non-target species. General information such as trap times, cloud cover, precipitation events, wind speed, and temperature were also recorded. We live trap squirrels during the winter months form late January through March, until the snow melts. Traps are open between the temperature ranges of 0 F and about 35 F to reduce the risk of snow melting on a squirrel, putting it at risk for hypothermia. We will determine if gray squirrel captures are correlated with temperature using a linear regression. If we identify a temperature range where most squirrels are trapped, we may be able to optimize capture success by trapping during a narrow range of temperatures. Additionally, squirrel hunters might optimize success by hunting during a temperature range when squirrels are more active.