Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rush, Scott A.

Committee Member

Wang, Guiming

Committee Member

Reagan, Steven

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Southern flying squirrels (SFS; Glaucomys volans) are known kleptoparasites on the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker’s (RCW; Picoides borealis) cavities and cost land managers time and money to control and the ecology of SFS in habitats managed for RCWs is poorly understood. This study is designed to obtain a better understanding of the general ecology of SFSs surrounding RCW habitat and provide possible non-lethal deterrent methods to prevent harmful interactions between SFSs and RCWs. Spatially-explicit capture-recapture showed generally higher SFS densities and habitat associations outside of RCW cluster partitions. Stable isotope analysis of SFS diets across Mississippi and Alabama revealed a narrow dietary breath relative to food items, thus habitat management may still be viable option to control SFSs. Lastly, investigation of odor deterrents resulted in the greatest avoidance of cavities containing gray rat snake (Pantherophis spiloides) feces and warrants further investigation.