Mearns's squirrel (Tamiasciurus mearnsi) is an endemic species of the montane forest of the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir in Baja California. Despite having been described for the first time in 1893 and a listing as threatened by Mexican authorities, no information is available on the ecology of this southernmost Tamiasciurus. We observed the ecology of Mearns's squirrels during 2004 and 2005. Mearns's squirrel apparently does not form larderhoards, known as middens, or leaf nests commonly built by other members of this genus. We observed Mearns's squirrels to feed heavily on tree seeds and fungi. We noted males with scrotal testes and a female in estrus in late spring. We did not observe eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), introduced to the western Sierra in 1946, within the areas that we searched for T. mearnsi. Mearns's squirrels might possess unique adaptations for their persistence in the dry, open forest of the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3