Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


William T. Bean

Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


In arid and semi-arid environments, burrowing mammals play a key role in increasing landscape heterogeneity through facilitative species interactions. The loss of burrowing mammal populations can consequently lead to negative effects cascading through the ecosystem. It is critical to understand these facilitative interactions for conservation and management. Understanding facilitative interactions may improve wildlife management tools, like translocation, which is often not very successful. To investigate the importance of burrow facilitation on San Joaquin antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilus nelsoni; SJAS) translocation success, I designed a natural experiment with a burrowing facilitator, the giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens; GKR). I radio collared 97 SJAS and translocated 67 of those squirrels to uninhabited lands in their historical range, some to a site with GKR (n=33) and some without GKR (n=34). SJAS that were collared but not translocated served as a control for the study (n=30). SJAS translocated to the GKR-absent site had significantly lower duration of study survival than the control sites (15% vs. 47%). The GKR-present site displayed significantly higher measures of movement (p =

Included in

Biology Commons