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 03:24 PM by jdines jdines | 1 comments | Leave a comment

Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

15704715804_c9185dcd9c_s

What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

finatic

Date

January 18, 2015 10:44 AM PST

Description

San Diego County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

16381181485_f15ea35a37_s

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

finatic

Date

January 24, 2015 07:59 AM PST

Description

Los Angeles County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

california ground squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

asemerdj

Date

January 26, 2015 09:06 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhmordenana

Date

January 25, 2015 01:30 PM PST

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

What

Fox squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

ckopczakcsc

Date

January 21, 2015

Description

Fox squirrel observed in the Rose Garden in Exposition Park as part of Operation Fox Squirrel.

Photo taken by a 2nd grader at the Alexander Science Center School.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fox squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

ckopczakcsc

Date

December 10, 2014

Description

Fox squirrel observed in the Rose Garden in Exposition Park as part of Operation Fox Squirrel.

Photo taken by a 2nd grader at the Alexander Science Center School.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

ckopczakcsc

Date

December 10, 2014

Description

Squirrel observed in Rose Garden in Exposition Park as part of Operation Fox Squirrel.

Photo taken by 2nd grader at Alexander Science Center School.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

ckopczakcsc

Date

December 12, 2014

Description

Squirrel poised on the edge of the wall surrounding the Rose Garden in Exposition Park.

Photo taken by 2nd grader at Alexander Science Center School as part of Operation Fox Squirrel.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 20, 2014 11:01 AM PST

Description

Observation and photo by Kara Lo. Taken during the NHM Nature Navigators program.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

california ground squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

asemerdj

Date

January 25, 2015

Photos / Sounds

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

farolkay

Date

September 25, 2014

Place

Upland, CA (Google, OSM)

Description

Baby squirrel on front lawn, ( pine trees line our street) dehydrated, bit of blood coming from one nostril, very weak. Neighbor had seen it on his wall day before. No mother in sight and didn't come to retrieve squirrel when placed on lawn in the sun. Took baby in, gave it Pedialyte for 24 hrs. Then started on Esbilac formula. Another baby squirrel seen on pine tree, left it alone. Watched it make it up tree, then it fell to the lawn. It ran up to me! Tried to get into house, climbed up screen, then went into house under screen. Showed 2nd squirrel the 1st squirrel and he jumped onto hand and nestled with 1st squirrel. Gave 2nd squirrel Pedialyte 24 hrs. then Esbilac. Husband built large cage, put it in sun in front yard with the 2 male babies. A third baby squirrel, a female, crying in front yard, running around near cage. I picked it up it put in cage with first two. Raised them to release age and weight. They now roam our trees and come to us for walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and a crushed rodent block mixture I make with powdered milk for toddlers, applesauce and crushed nuts. They also eat oranges, grapes, blackberries, pomegranate seeds. An old man at other end of street saw me feeding them and informed me he traps squirrel and takes them on a "one way ride" up to the mountains. He said he would take "mine" if caught! He said we are "being overrun by squirrels." Not! He keeps trap on parkway by the sidewalk (city property) near his house. I have released squirrels from his trap three times. I don't know if they are "mine" or not, and I don't know if it was the same squirrel the three times or not. I read they have 80% to 100% chance of dying when relocated. There have been squirrels in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods for years. I haven't seen more than 3 or four occupying my street. ( Every year these neighborhood squirrels get into our very large avocado tree and take bites out of the avocados.) I suspect he had trapped "my" squirrels' mother and that's why they were running around alone and unafraid of people. I did see one large male chasing "my" squirrels into the avocado tree. I have not seen this one for about a month. Sadly, at this writing I have not seen "my" female for a day and a half, and at 8:25 a.m I have yet to see the two males either. The trap down the street is empty, though. These three nest together right now since they are only about 5 months old. The only vocalizations they make are squeaks when one chases another away when I am offering them food. Sometimes they are all three together, most times one male with the female, more often the two males together. The female has, on a couple of occasions, not showed up for a day. They have occupied an abandoned barn owl nest high up in a pine tree in front of our house. They go there at sundown for the night. They also have a drey in a tall tree in our back yard. They female has been seen in a cypress tree, resting on a clump of cypress leaves that had collected between the branches.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Squirrels and Allies Family Sciuridae

Observer

samanthahenry

Date

January 7, 2015

Description

Left side of the picture, captured by trail cam.

Photos / Sounds

16044240488_8c3b8a987e_s

What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

finatic

Date

January 6, 2015 11:44 AM PST

Description

Riverside County, California, US

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Otospermophilus beecheyi

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhmordenana

Date

December 16, 2014 11:50 AM PST

Place

(Somewhere...)

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

16205920275_d84a047216_s

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

finatic

Date

January 3, 2015 12:25 PM PST

Place

Bard (Google, OSM)

Description

Imperial County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Grey Squirrel Sciurus griseus

Observer

rsmart

Date

January 2, 2015 10:39 AM PST

Description

We saw this Western Grey Squirrel just to the west of the Chantry Flats picnic area. It was initially on the ground, and then quickly went up into the trees and get moving along branches.

As we hiked along the Upper Winter Creek Trail we did see several other Western Grey Squirrels. We did not see any other species.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus griseus

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

dkuhlj

Date

September 20, 2014 06:44 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

I observed this Eastern Fox Squirrel sitting in a tree. I do not know the species of the tree.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

dkuhlj

Date

December 30, 2014 10:32 AM PST

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

I observed these two Eastern Fox Squirrels together. One climbed off the tree to join the second on the ground. They were scratching at the ground and eating something. I think the tree was a Magnolia.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

dkuhlj

Date

September 29, 2014 09:53 AM PDT

Description

This Eastern Fox Squirrel was traveling up high, along the power lines.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

California ground squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

greenrosettas

Date

April 6, 2010

Photos / Sounds

8598806039_20a08df384_s

What

Western Gray Squirrel Sciurus griseus

Observer

greenrosettas

Date

March 26, 2013

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

dkuhlj

Date

December 24, 2014 06:15 AM PST

Description

I noticed this Eastern Fox Squirrel in the parking lot of a nursery. When I approached, the squirrel retreated up into a palm tree.

nhmordenana Project curator ID

Sciurus niger

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

July 15, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

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

Photos / Sounds

15458508644_2f26a6a7e9_s

What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

finatic

Date

December 21, 2014 11:42 AM PST

Description

San Diego County, California, US

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

western fox squirrel Sciurus niger ssp. rufiventer

Observer

jd626

Date

December 19, 2014

Description

Large fox squirrel looking for areas to bury coast live oak acorns in front yard.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

kmedina

Date

December 8, 2014 03:57 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

chanze

Date

July 2, 2012

Description

This Squirrel was playing hide and seek with me and my camera on the waterfall hike at Eaton Canyon Natural Area.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

chanze

Date

July 23, 2012

Description

Spotted a few of these in trees in the west side of Lower Arroyo Park, north of the casting pond.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

August 7, 2013 01:02 PM PDT

Description

California ground squirrel

Photos / Sounds

What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

November 20, 2014 11:43 AM PST

Description

Observation and photo taken during volunteer training at the Tar Pits Museum!

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

Is this inappropriate, spam, or offensive? Add a flag

Logo-eee-15px
Embed a widget for this project on your website