Preliminary camera trapping of fallen fruits in 2013 revealed that both white-tailed antelope squirrels and kangaroo rats moved unopened fruits from beneath trees, but it was unclear how many fruits were taken, or how far they moved them.
White-tailed antelope squirrels comprised the highest percentage (61.
At CF in 2014 the mean ([+ or -] SD) distance fruits were moved by white-tailed antelope squirrels during the day (8.
White-tailed antelope squirrels removed the highest percentages of fruits in late morning (0900-1200) and early afternoon (1200-1500) (Fig.
In the two years at both sites, white-tailed antelope squirrels visited a total of 8 seed stations, far fewer than the 25 stations visited for fruits.
White-tailed antelope squirrels moved fallen Joshua tree fruits at both sites in both years and visited more fruits (63%) than seed stations (20%).
In addition to collecting fallen fruits, white-tailed antelope squirrels are agile climbers (Zembal and Gall 1980; Waitman et al.
The results of this and other studies suggest white-tailed antelope squirrels are likely keystone seed dispersers in deserts of the arid West because it is a relatively large rodent, is an excellent climber, possesses cheek pouches for seed storage, and scatterhoards seeds (Beck and Vander Wall 2010).
Although Merriam's kangaroo rats, the most common kangaroo rat species on the two sites (Borchert and DeFalco 2016), are considerably smaller (40-50 g) than white-tailed antelope squirrels, they also carried fruits, sometimes tens of meters.
Nevertheless, even in years of low fruit production, white-tailed antelope squirrels consume or disperse canopy fruits before they reach the ground.