How Many Squirrel Species Are There in Ohio?
How many squirrel species are there in Ohio? In this article, you’ll learn how to tell if you have one of the four species of squirrels. Here are some of the common names for these creatures: Gray Squirrel, Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sherman’s Fox Squirrel, and Southern Flying Squirrel. To learn more about each of these animals, continue reading.
How many squirrel species are in Ohio? Ohio is home to four different species. The most common species is the Eastern Gray Squirrel, also known as Sciurus carolinensis. These squirrels prefer wooded areas with large amounts of hardwood trees. They are not particularly obnoxious to humans, but can be a nuisance. The fox squirrel is a native species of the Midwest, but now inhabits a large portion of the state.
The Eastern gray squirrel, or the Eastern fox squirrel, has a large range in Ohio. They were once a welcomed source of game meat for early settlers, but their population was so large that they were regarded as pests. In addition to eating young plants and seeds, they also preyed on fruit and grain until they were harvested. Today, they are a major problem for farmers and homeowners, but the Ohio state legislature is working to protect the species.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Countless different species of squirrels live in Ohio. Besides the Eastern gray squirrel, there are other species including the white-tailed deer and racoon. These mammals are small and nocturnal and are largely hidden during the day. Ohio is home to sixty different species of squirrels, which can be spotted in parks and trees. The following are some facts about the different squirrel species found in Ohio.
The Eastern gray squirrel lives in dense hardwood forests. However, when European settlers began clearing the forests to establish farms and homes, they left the squirrels without homes. This left thousands of them homeless, so they moved into the open fields to feed on young plants. In a month or two, they move through the area and leave the pioneer homes empty. While this might seem like a problem, it is actually the result of a long-term ecological change.
Sherman’s Fox Squirrel
Although many people don’t realize it, squirrels are everywhere. You may not even notice them. In 2021, this makes them remarkably adaptable – they can even thrive in cities! Ohio has four main species of squirrels: red, gray, and eastern fox. While the gray and red squirrels are the most common, the flying and southern flying squirrels are also found here. They are mostly nocturnal and are quite adaptable to city environments.
In the early 1800s, the Eastern gray squirrel was a problem that decimated crops and famine for settlers. The state legislature in Ohio placed a bounty on squirrel heads, and in 1807, county tax payers were required to present the number of scalps needed to pay taxes in their township. This bounty could be as low as ten, or as high as 100. However, in the last two decades, the gray squirrel has become a common sight in the Midwest.
Southern Flying Squirrel
How many squirrel species are in Ohio? You might be surprised by the answer. If you’re like many people, you’d rather see your pet squirrel than hunt for it. There are three main species that live in Ohio, the Eastern Gray Squirrel, the Northern Ground Squirrel and the Southern Flying Squirrel. Each has different food preferences and habitats, but they all have something in common: they are both widespread.
Several squirrel species inhabit Ohio. Eastern gray squirrels are native to the state’s dense hardwood forests. European settlers began clearing the forests to establish farms and homes, leaving the Eastern gray squirrels homeless. In the early 1800s, the state legislature instituted a bounty on the scalps of Eastern gray squirrels. In return for paying their county taxes, they had to present the number of squirrel scalps required by the township they lived in. This bounty was up to 100 or more.
Ohio’s Ivy League Squirrel
The University of Cincinnati’s squirrels are not the typical Ivy League species. While some of these animals live in urban areas, others are native to the area. UC’s mascots, for example, are more like gray squirrels than red ones. Interestingly, one article described OU’s squirrels as a distinct Ivy League subspecies. While the university has not yet taken action to prevent the squirrel population from outgrowing campus buildings, they have adopted a Twitter account to keep their followers informed.
The species is so ubiquitous in the state that Ohio residents have become acquainted with them. In fact, the Eastern Gray Squirrel, or Sciurus carolinensis, is one of the most common species in Ohio. These animals prefer large areas of wooded habitat with plenty of hardwood trees, and are often a nuisance to humans. Here are a few interesting facts about Ohio’s Ivy League Squirrel.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.