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Preliminary study on the daily activity rhythms of red squirrels in Autumn and Winter


, : Preliminary study on the daily activity rhythms of red squirrels in Autumn and Winter. Chinese Journal of Zoology: 33-37

The daily activity rhythms of 8 Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) was preliminarily observed by means of a telescope in the Lesser Xing' an Mountains Forest Region in the autumn of 1999 Y and winter of 2000. On a seasonal basis, Red squirrels displayed two distinct daily activity rhythms ; a bimodal pattern of activity in the autumn, and a unimodal pattern in the winter. In the autumn, the total duration of daily activity was (9.10 [plus or minus] 1.03) h in average and foraging took 85.50 % of total daily activity. Total daily activity time was (4.62 [plus or minus] 0.51 ) h in the winter, and foraging time took 88.25 % of total daily activity. There was a significant difference in total daily activity time between autumn and winter( t = 8.17, P < 0.05) . Based on the seasonal pattern of activity, the daily activity rhythm of Red squirrels was affected by the day-length, temperature, food availability, and the degree of human disturbance.

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