Welcome to the Southern California Squirrel Survey!

I’m Jim Dines, a mammalogist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. My colleague, Miguel Ordeñana, and I established this project to improve what is known about the distribution of squirrels in southern California. Your contributed observations will help!

Did you know that the eastern fox squirrels commonly observed in southern California are not native to the area? As their common name implies, these tree squirrels were introduced from the eastern United States about 100 years ago. We’re interested in tracking the expansion of this introduced species, but we also hope to gain valuable insight into what is happening when the introduced eastern fox squirrel comes into contact with the native western gray squirrel. Both are large bushy-tailed tree squirrels but you can tell them apart by their color: eastern gray squirrels have reddish-brown fur and are commonly seen in urban and suburban neighborhoods; western gray squirrels have silver-gray fur and live in ...more ↓

Posted on September 18, 2013 05:24 PM by jdines jdines | 1 comments | Leave a comment

Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

rsacks

Date

April 17, 2015

Description

9:45 am
An S. niger was seen perched in a Sycamore Tree in the middle level of Occidental College's campus.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

rsacks

Date

April 17, 2015

Description

7:30 am
A S. niger was seen in a grassy area in the middle levels of Occidental College's campus.

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Fox squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

April 12, 2015 01:30 PM PDT

Description

"This squirrel was spotted on the rooftop of a house at the corner of Alvarado St. and Court St. The squirrel was first seen on the rooftop and then jumped down and ran across the backyard grass towards some trees.
The squirrel has a yellowish ventral side and brownish dorsal side.
I am submitting as part of the First Fridays Southern California Squirrel Survey Contest.
Hopefully the pictures are helpful!"

-Marlena Gomez

Observation and photos submitted by Marlena Gomez, sent to squirrelsurvey@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Fox squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

April 12, 2015 01:00 PM PDT

Description

"I saw this squirrel today Sunday April 12, 2015 around 1:00PM at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center (2551 Motor Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90064). The squirrel appeared to be maybe just looking for food and then went up a tree when I got closer. I think it might have been an Eastern Fox Squirrel since these are very common in city parks."

-Maria Drozd

Observation and photos by Maria Drozd, sent to squirrelsurvey@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

rsacks

Date

April 16, 2015

Description

8:15 am
This is a very small, potentially a baby, S. niger seen under a bench in the lower portion of Occidental College's campus this morning.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

steviekgold

Date

April 16, 2015 11:19 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

rsacks

Date

April 15, 2015

Description

11:15 am
This fox squirrel was observed sitting in a Coast Live Oak tree at Occidental College in the midmorning time.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

rsacks

Date

April 15, 2015

Description

A S. niger was observed digging through some leaf litter around some Coast Live Oak trees in the lower campus area of Occidental College. It is common for this species to use leaf nests and tree cavities for shelter.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

rsacks

Date

April 15, 2015

Description

10:10 am.
A fox squirrel was observed near a trashcan on a lower part of campus at Occidental College.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

chezron

Date

April 14, 2015

Description

Definitely a California Ground Squirrel or Beechey's Ground Squirrel. He sits on the deck railing and hangs out. I started seeing him as soon as it got warmer this winter.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

mr_wich

Date

April 12, 2015 03:41 PM PDT

Description

This little guy was fairly aggressive and absolutely fearless of humans.

I encountered him near the picnic area of Temescal Canyon park. He kept creeping closer and closer and did not back off from vocal warnings, only leaving when I got up and stomped the ground right next to him.

He had two spots in his fur that could have been a wound of some kind.

At one point he ran under our picnic table and picked up a sugary cracker and ran off with it.

Photos / Sounds

What

Merriam's Chipmunk Tamias merriami

Observer

mickeylong

Date

April 11, 2015

Description

One seen on brush pile in chaparral and pine forest mix.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California ground squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

jorge4

Date

April 5, 2015 11:58 AM PDT

Description

Two juveniles of what seems to be California ground squirrels. They were in the shrubs between the sea cliff and the ocean; it seemed like they were gnawing on trash. They didn't seem too bothered by the proximity of people.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

jorge4

Date

April 5, 2015 01:40 PM PDT

Description

A single adult individual; was running around the remains of the road. Its right leg and tail seems to have red paint on it.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

bethadamyk

Date

March 24, 2014

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

hgan

Date

April 11, 2015

Description

Eastern Fox Squirrel we saw during an Educator Workshop in the Rose Garden near the Natural History Museum
10:39 am

Photos / Sounds

What

White-tailed Antelope Squirrel Ammospermophilus leucurus

Observer

kueda

Date

March 29, 2015 04:39 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

16973778051 d13a555e45 s

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

bbunny

Date

March 28, 2015 11:43 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

16544694962 f20a5b4f9b s

What

Merriam's Chipmunk Tamias merriami

Observer

bbunny

Date

February 15, 2015 12:33 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

April 3, 2015

Description

Observation and photos by Annette Morasch, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

April 1, 2015 12:12 PM PDT

Description

Observation and photo by Annette Morasch, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

gregpauly

Date

April 6, 2015 08:17 AM PDT

Description

Upper parking area at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

gregpauly

Date

April 6, 2015 08:22 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

rooster916

Date

April 5, 2015 01:28 PM PDT

Description

This is one of 2 squirrels that inhabit my yard. He/she is getting ready to eat the spilled contents of the squirrel proof bird feeder which includes sunflower seeds and cracked corn.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhmordenana

Date

April 5, 2015 10:07 AM PDT

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

squirrelguy

Date

August 10, 2014 10:33 AM PDT

Description

2 grays on ground near conifers

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus griseus

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

zachbehrens

Date

April 2, 2015 09:28 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

zachbehrens

Date

April 1, 2015 05:33 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

tumbleweedbruddy

Date

March 28, 2015 07:23 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Gray Squirrel Sciurus griseus

Observer

suelafferty

Date

March 25, 2015

Description

Single gray squirrel first observed below bird feeders feeding on sunflower seeds from bird feeders. Was chattered at by nearby fox squirrel at which time it scampered up the California pepper tree and over into the large Torrey pine on our property. The fox squirrel then moved under the bird feeders and the gray squirrel climbed high in the Torrey pine. It began breaking open pine cones for the seeds and dropping pine cones and branches on the ground. It has since moved on.

jdines Project curator ID

Sciurus griseus
More observations

About

Squirrels are well-known but sometimes overlooked species of the southern California landscape. For instance, not many people realize that eastern fox squirrels are nonnative or how much their range has expanded. Similarly, the decline of the native western gray squirrel has gone unnoticed. We also want to learn more about the distribution and behavior of other understudied species such as ...more ↓

15419 mini nhmordenana created this project on September 17, 2013

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