Although cases of pilfering food are reported commonly in the mammal literature, the factors affecting pilfering rates among individuals and between populations within the same species remain relatively unknown. We measured individual pilfering rates in 2 populations of highly territorial larder-hoarding red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) in Kluane, Yukon, Canada. One population received artificial food supplementation (where all individuals had ad libitum food) and had a 2-fold higher density than the control population. We knew the age, relatedness, and spatial relationship of all individuals in each population, and we had a measure of the food resources (cones) cached by each individual and their fates through the study. Results from experimental removal of territory owners suggested that younger squirrels with smaller food caches were more likely to pilfer when provided the opportunity. However, using a mark–recapture study of marked spruce cones under natural conditions, we found that few individuals (14%) pilfered, and stolen cones represented only 0.3% of total cones that were larder-hoarded. Pilfering occurs at a much lower rate in Kluane than reported for red squirrels in other regions and is less than rates reported for scatter-hoarding species.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 92 • No. 5