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Honors Thesis




The objective of this study was to examine the genetic diversity of two geographically separated populations of Eastem fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) within the Indianapolis metropolitan area. One population was located on Butler University's campus and the other at Eagle Creek Park, located about 6.5 miles WNW from the Butler campus. DNA was extracted from tail hair samples collected by live trapping squirrels during the summers of 2007, 2008, and 2009. I used microsatellite analysis to examine the genetic variation between the two sites. Hair samples from 66 Butler squirrels and 30 Eagle Creek squirrels were analyzed using 4 microsatellite primers. The results from this study indicate that there is little genetic differentiation between the Butler and Eagle Creek populations. This may be the result of either insufficient time for divergence through genetic drift or, as this study suggests, sufficient gene flow across the urban/suburban landscape.