Effectiveness of flying squirrel excluder devices on red-cockaded woodpecker cavities
The author tested the effectiveness of squirrel excluder devices (SQED?s) in deterring southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) from using artificial red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) cavities by placing them on approximately one-half of the cavities in 14 inactive recruitment clusters on the Savannah River Site, SC. SQED?s consisted of 2 pieces of 35.5-cm wide aluminum flashing placed 7.6 cm above and below the cavity entrance. Cavities with (N = 37) and without (N = 35) SQED?s were checked once per month from February 1995 to January 1996: all flying squirrels found in cavities were removed and destroyed. Cavities with and without SQED?s did not differ in cavity height (P = 0.70), distance to first branch $ I m in length (P = 0.09), distance to the nearest tree (P = 0.29), number of trees within 8 m (P = 0.82), or previous use by flying squirrels (P = 0.67). Flying squirrels used cavities without SQED?s throughout the year and occupied 5.7 to 38.2 percent of the cavities/month. In contrast, only I flying squirrel was found in a cavity with an SQED; thus, SQED?s effectively impeded flying squirrels from using red-cockaded woodpecker cavities and should be considered a tool in red-cockaded woodpecker management where flying squirrels are a potential threat to population stability or expansion.
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