Fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) populations are declining in the southeastern United States, presumably as a function of habitat loss. Because the ecology of southeastern subspecies of fox squirrels differs greatly from their well-studied midwestern relatives, habitat studies of midwestern fox squirrels are of limited use for managing southeastern subspecies. Therefore, we initiated a radiotelemetry study to evaluate habitat use of fox squirrels (n = 101) in southwestern Georgia, USA. Our results indicated that sex of fox squirrels and season did not affect habitat use and that fox squirrels did not display habitat selection within the home range. However, when selecting a home range, fox squirrels preferred mature pine (Pinus spp.) and mixed pine–hardwood forests and avoided hardwood forests. To provide fox squirrel habitat in southeastern pine landscapes, management strategies should maintain mixtures of mature longleaf pine (P. palustris) and mature mixed pine–hardwood forests.
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Vol. 68 • No. 3