Assessment of a Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) Population in the Upper Mississippi River Watershed.
Abstract:Southern flying squirrels, Glaucomys volans, are a “species of concern” in Iowa. Within Iowa, they are considered “uncommon” with an “unknown” population trend. This assessment appears driven by a lack of information for the species. While their reported distribution in Iowa includes all but the extreme northwest corner, there are relatively few records of the species for the state. Beginning in early June 2012, we surveyed southern flying squirrels along four transects within Mines of Spain Recreation Area (MoSRA), a state park located in Dubuque County, Iowa. These transects also were sampled in 2011. We used Ugglan multi-capture live-traps, baited with peanut butter mixed with raisins, which were placed on trees approximately 5-meters above ground level. Traps were checked each morning, for five consecutive days, every other week. To date, 18 flying squirrels have been captured and marked with PIT (Passive Integrated Transponder) tags. Capture rates for 2012 were lower than for 2011. Also, patterns of capture success differed between years; the highest capture success for 2012 comes from the transect with the lowest capture success in 2011. We will summarize our capture data for 2012 and compare to previous years.