The Mount Graham red squirrel is losing habitat in its sky island home territory, because spruce aphid is damaging the Engelmann spruce where the squirrels nest.
Spruce aphid was recently introduced to the Pinaleño Mountains of Southern Arizona. Potential longer-term effects include changes in forest structure and species composition — primarily through reduction in Engelmann spruce dominance in spruce-fir and mixed-conifer forests. The aphid also would impact Mount Graham Red Squirrel food resources, cache sites, and general habitat requirements.
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