The North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) typically is regarded as having strong affinities for coniferous forests throughout its geographic range. In the state of Indiana, the red squirrel has expanded its geographic range concurrent with fragmentation of deciduous forests and widespread plantings of conifers. We undertook a radiotelemetry study to assess resource selection and survival of this species in 2 woodlots dominated by deciduous trees in west-central Indiana. Squirrels selected habitats with a high proportion of black walnut (Juglans nigra), avoided other hard mast-producing species, and avoided conifers. Squirrels exhibited overlapping home ranges, consistent with other studies on eastern populations. Individuals whose core areas contained conifers experienced higher survival rates than those individuals whose core areas did not contain conifers. We conclude that the increased safety conferred by conifers, as well as the presence of black walnut in these forests, are likely to contribute strongly to this species' persistence in Indiana.
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