Conservation Research Laboratory: General Conservation Projects

Hsiang Ling Chen

Road and traffic effects on movements and space use of red squirrels
  • Time Period: 2009 - present

  • Location: Mt. Graham, AZ, U.S.A.

Road ecology is a burgeoning field of inquiry as roadways expand in number, length and width. We know that roads fragment habitats, increase mortality, change microclimates, and can act as barriers…thus they present a challenge in the conservation of biodiversity. Roads may function as impermeable barriers to some species while being semi-permeable to others. We are examining the relative permeability of roads to two species in the Pinaleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona: federally endangered Mt. Graham red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) and non-native Aberts squirrels (Sciurus aberti).

Major Questions: Do red squirrels avoid roads? If so, what factors are most influential to avoidance? Do they avoid forest edges created by roads, forest gaps, or traffic disturbances?

Where is Hsiang Ling Now?

Postdoctoral Researcher
Sustainability of Payments for Ecosystem Services in Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Department of Geography & Department of Biology
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-4493