Rattle calls as individual identifiers in the North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus): rural vs urban habitat.
Our research will focus on the underlying function of the red squirrel rattle call as a form of individual identification for nearby territorial listeners, in both rural and urban populations. We will establish the function of the call by examining whether the call is produced more often within an individuals territory boundary (territorial function) or if the call reflects self identification for listeners and thus is produced anywhere the squirrel may be (within or outside of the territory). Individual squirrels, in Whitemud Creek (urban) and Sheep River Provincial Park (rural) will be trapped and released in various locations within and outside of their territory in order to establish if and where rattle calls are reliably produced.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shannon Digweed
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