Title

Ecology, distribution, and predictive occurrence modeling of Palmer's chipmunk (Tamias palmeri): A high-elevation small mammal endemic to the Spring Mountains in southern Nevada, USA

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Although montane sky islands surrounded by desert scrub and shrub steppe comprise a large part of the biological diversity of the Basin and Range Province of southwestern North America, comprehensive ecological and population demographic studies for high-elevation small mammals within these areas are rare. Here, we examine the ecology and population parameters of the Palmer's chipmunk (Tamias palmeri) in the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada, and present a predictive GIS-based distribution and probability of occurrence model at both home range and geographic spatial scales. Logistic regression analyses and Akaike Information Criterion model selection found variables of forest type, slope, and distance to water sources as predictive of chipmunk occurrence at the geographic scale. At the home range scale, increasing population density, decreasing overstory canopy cover, and decreasing understory canopy cover contributed to increased survival rates. © 2016 Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Mammalogists.