Data from: Predation risk landscape modifies flying and red squirrel nest site occupancy independently of habitat amount
Turkia, Tytti, University of Turku
Korpimäki, Erkki, University of Turku
Selonen, Vesa, University of Turku
Published Mar 15, 2019 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Turkia, Tytti; Korpimäki, Erkki; Villers, Alexandre; Selonen, Vesa (2019). Data from: Predation risk landscape modifies flying and red squirrel nest site occupancy independently of habitat amount [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6430mr0
Habitat choice often entails trade-offs between food availability and predation risk. Understanding the distribution of individuals in space thus requires that both habitat characteristics and predation risk are considered simultaneously. Here, we studied the nest box use of two arboreal squirrels who share preferred habitat with their main predators. Nocturnal Ural owls (Strix uralensis) decreased occurrence of night-active flying squirrels (Pteromys volans) and diurnal goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) that of day-active red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris). Unexpectedly, the amount of preferred habitat had no effect on nest box use, but, surprisingly, both squirrel species seemed to benefit from close proximity to agricultural fields and red squirrels to urban areas. We found no evidence of trade-off between settling in a high-quality habitat and avoiding predators. However, the amount of poor-quality young pine forests was lower in occupied sites where goshawks were present, possibly indicating habitat specific predation on red squirrels. The results suggest that erecting nest boxes for Ural owls should be avoided in the vicinity of flying squirrel territories in order to conserve the near threatened flying squirrels. Our results also suggest that flying squirrels do not always need continuous old forests, and hence the currently insufficient conservation practices could be improved with reasonable increases in the areas left untouched around their nests. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of taking into account both habitat requirements and predation risk as well as their interactive effects when modeling the occupancy of threatened animal species and planning their conservation.
Nest-box occupancy data for flying squirrels
Data describes occupancy (1=precence, 0=absence) of flying squirrels in nest boxes. BCODE= name of nest box. ID = a unique combination of box name and census year. Ural owl and goshawk columns describe modelled predation risk from these predators at the nest box site, see article for methods. h1...h27 refer to different land use classes and their combinations as in Table 1 of the research article. _200m and _1km means area (square meters) of that habitat within 200 meters and 1km from nest box, respectively. s (for example h17_200ms) refers to standarized amount of that habitat, see methods.
Nest box occupancy data for red squirrels
Data describes nest box occupancy of red squirrels. 1= presence, 0=absence. BCODE= name of the box. ID= unique combination of box name and census year. Goshawk and Ural owl columns describe modelled predation risk from these predators at the nest box site, see methods in research article. h1...h27 refer to land use classes as in Table 1 of the article. _300 and _2500 m refer to the area of each land use class within 300 meters and 2.5 kilometers from the nest box in square meters. Ending 's' (h8_300ms) refers to the standardized area. TimePeriod describes the slightly different detection probability before and since 2006.
Spruce cone crop data
Data describes estimates of Norway spruce cone crop (unit: cones per tree, calculated from trees in research forests) in three different areas, Ullava, Oravainen and Maalahti, surrounding the red squirrel study area in Kauhava, Finland.