Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Activity budget and foraging behavior of introduced Callosciurus finlaysonii (Rodentia, Sciuridae) in Italy.

Abstract

We studied seasonal activity patterns and feeding behaviour of a population of Finlayson's squirrel (Callosciurus finlaysonii) native to Indochina and introduced into Italy. Squirrels spent the majority of active time foraging, switching between resources according to availability. In winter, they fed mainly on buds or stripped bark, shifting to flowers when plants bloomed in spring, and to mature seeds and fruits from June to October. By November-December, bark-stripping became progressively more important. This activity accounted for 36.5% of the yearly feeding time. The flexibility to exploit a wide range of foods, the ability to change food habits throughout the year, and hoarding behaviour are factors that could indicate a proclivity to use different habitats successfully.