On Squirrel Appreciation Day: Honoring America’s Kaibab Squirrel

The kaibab squirrel is a white-tailed squirrel found only in the Grand Canyon region of Arizona.

Today, on Squirrel Appreciation Day, the workers of the Kaibab National Forest designated more than 200,000 acres of the parks to the kaibab squirrel. In response, Squirrels Squirrels Squirrels hereby bequeaths a giant acorn to the KNF!

From the Prescott Daily Courier:

“Dr. Joseph D. Hall, who conducted [an] evaluation on the squirrel and its habitat, stated that the Kaibab squirrel is, in a local way, as significant a species as the finches Charles Darwin studied on the Galapagos Islands.

Like the finches of the Galapagos, natural geographic boundaries including the Grand Canyon have restricted the Kaibab squirrel’s movement and allowed it to evolve into the species seen today.”

Finally: My Own Squirrel Photo!!!

I love squirrels but I don’t live near any, meaning I don’t get to enjoy them on a daily basis.

But this week we’re house-sitting in Coyoacan, a neighborhood in southern Mexico City. And there’s several fantastic, noisy, social squirrels roaming about the property, enjoying the lush gardens. One of them (below) looks like a typical squirrel, the other one is dark brown and has a very thin tail – not sure what species he/she is. They are having a fun time barking at my dog, who, in turn, is barking back.

They’re also falling prey to my lens!


Black Squirrels Move to England, Stirring…Racism?

The Washington City Paper blog has an intriguing article on the emerging presence of black squirrels in the U.K.

For those of you that have never seen them, black squirrels look just like greys, but are darker and have silkier hair. I think they’re prettier, and I’d been told that they were simply a genetic variant – much like the many hues of kittens that can be found in just one litter.

Apparently, however, it appears that the British press — already worried about the decimation of the local, indigenous red squirrel population (the original Squirrel Nutkin was a red squirrel) — is now fussing over the emergence of black squirrels, blaming the black squirrels as being more “testosterone-charged… fitter, faster and more fiercely competitive than both reds or greys.”


Also: “Sex selection is also boosting their numbers because female greys appear to prefer them as mates.”

Yes, I’m starting to giggle now.

The City Paper‘s criticism: “The Black Squirrel Heads to England, Inspires Subtly Racist Science Reporting

and the U.K. Daily Mail article that is mentioned: “The pack of mutant black squirrels that are giving Britain’s grey population a taste of their own medicine

Exotic Squirrels: Malabar Giant Squirrel

Now this is a neat looking squirrel!

(Malabar Giant Squirrel, originally uploaded by Paradise Flycatcher.)
I can’t find much info on this squirrel, but it appears to live in India. According to Wikipedia, it is also known as the Indian giant squirrel, and “is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and requires tall profusely branched trees for the construction of nests. It travels from tree to tree with jumps of up to 6 m (19.69 ft). When in danger, the Ratufa indica often freezes or flattens itself against the tree trunk, instead of fleeing. Its main predators are the birds of prey and the leopard.”