Did you know there are over 200 species of squirrel living all over the world?!
Each species has its own unique way of life. Some squirrels live in trees, while others live underground; some can even fly!
Here, we profile 3 species of squirrel common in California that are the focus of my current project.
Stayed tuned for introductions to other cool squirrel species on our “Squirrel Spotlight Sundays” blog posts!
I am a Western Grey Squirrel (Sciurus griseus)! We can be found living high in trees along the West Coast of the United States and Mexico. I prefer to live alone. I do not hibernate during the winter so I have to store food by burying it in the ground during the rest of the year. Western grey squirrels such as myself are "scatter- hoarders", which means we store each nut or seed we find in a different location.
I am a California Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi)! We live on the West Coast of the United States and Baja California. I live in a burrow underground, surrounded by my close buddies. Some populations of ground squirrels will hibernate through the winter, dependent on the weather conditions in the area where they live. Other California Ground Squirrels may store small amounts of food in our burrows, and forage above ground throughout the year.
I am a Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger)! We can be found primarily in the eastern United States, however, we have also moved into many urban areas along the west coast. Fox squirrels are "arboreal", meaning we live in trees. We do come down to the ground to forage and to store food for the winter. Like the western grey squirrel, we too are scatter-hoarders, storing each of our saved food items in separate locations. I tend to live alone, but may nest with others in the winter to stay warm!
I am a Douglas squirrel(Tamiasciurus douglasii)! I can be found in the Pacific northwest, from northern California to southwestern Canada and I am a close cousin to the North American Red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). I love eating pine tree cones and reproductive structures of fungi. I am a shy, solitary squirrel who doesn't like to socialize with others. I am a larder hoarder which means I hide all my nuts for the winter in one location and I fiercely defend my midden and territory! I am important for old-growth forest health because I spread around fungal spores during foraging which provides essential nutrients to the soil and tree roots.