Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2013


Great Plains Research 23.1 (Spring 2013), pp. 25-31.


Copyright © 2013 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) and red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) in the Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) of South Dakota represent isolated populations. Because data on both species in the region are limited, and because the northern flying squirrel in South Dakota and the Black Hills National Forest has species of concern status, we trapped throughout BHNF to determine relative abundance in different forest types for both populations. For northern flying squirrels, capture rate was higher in the northern and western hills compared to the southern and eastern hills, whereas for red squirrels, capture rate was higher in the western hills, followed by the southern and eastern hills. The northern hills are classified as mesic coniferous forest transitioning to a dry coniferous forest in the southern hills. In addition, the northern hills is characterized by a mixed coniferous-deciduous forest, whereas the southern and eastern hills are characterized by even-aged managed coniferous stands. Understanding the abundance of these two isolated squirrel populations in the different forest types of the BHNF is important in intensively managed forests, because management decisions can impact isolated populations.