Although partial forest harvesting is practiced over large areas, managers know little about its impacts on sciurid rodents, particularly on northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern flying squirrels (G. volans) in the northeastern United States and Canada. We examined habitat relationships of sciurid rodents (northern flying squirrels, southern flying squirrels, red squirrels [Tamiasciurus hudsonicus], and eastern chipmunks [Tamias striatus]) at 2 spatial scales in managed and unmanaged coniferous and hardwood forests of Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. We live-trapped rodents in 26 northern hardwood stands and in 16 white pine (Pinus strobus) stands from 2002 to 2004. Northern flying squirrel and red squirrel densities were significantly lower in recently harvested (3–10 yr since harvest) shelterwood stands than in unmanaged stands. In contrast, southern flying squirrel densities were higher in selection-harvested stands than in old-forest areas. The densities of northern flying squirrels and red squirrels had a strong relationship with the density of large spruce (Picea sp.) and hardwood trees and snags in conifer sites. Southern flying squirrel numbers had a positive association with the density of mast trees at the landscape level but not at the stand level in hardwood forests. Eastern chipmunk density had a positive correlation with the volume of old downed woody debris and the stems per hectare of declining trees. We recommend forest managers retain more large spruce and hardwood trees to mitigate the impacts of shelterwood harvesting on northern flying squirrels and red squirrels, and that they maintain high mast availability at the landscape level to ensure the persistence of southern flying squirrels.
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Vol. 70 • No. 6