In the American Southwest, the red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) occurs as disjunct populations in coniferous forests on mountaintops. There is a paucity of information concerning the species' distribution and habitat in western New Mexico. I report new records that document and verify the occurrence of red squirrels in additional montane areas in west central New Mexico, including the Mangas Mountains, Canovas Rim, Turner Mountain, Tularosa Mountains, Elk Mountains, Bearwallow Mountain, and Pinos Altos Mountains. I also report observations of red squirrels from an atypical habitat—low-elevation riparian forests. These new records suggest that the geographic distribution of the species in west central New Mexico is broader than indicated by existing records. However, I also document the apparent extirpation of red squirrels from the Zuni Mountains in northwestern New Mexico. The red squirrel is one of several avian and mammalian species associated with mixed coniferous forests that have become extirpated in this mountain range.
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Vol. 68 • No. 4