How Was The Grey Squirrel Introduced?
If you are wondering, “How Was The Grey Squirrel Introduced?” then you’ve come to the right place. Grey squirrels are native to parts of eastern Canada. They’ve been introduced to parts of British Columbia and co-exist with American red squirrels. This article will give you the background on these two species and how they coexist with humans. This information is essential for you to understand the gray squirrel’s place in the ecosystem.
Grey squirrels are native to parts of eastern Canada
While not a pest, grey squirrels can be a nuisance in the backyard, as they can chew through wires and snag bird feeders. The eastern gray squirrel prefers areas where they can find mature woodland ecosystems with large mast-producing trees. Because of this, they prefer to live in oak-hickory hardwood forests over coniferous ones, as they provide a greater diversity of mast forage. Grey squirrels are native to parts of eastern Canada but are only found there in areas with no boreal forest.
They were introduced to British Columbia
Grey squirrels are native to eastern Canada and the United States. They were first introduced to Stanley Park in 1909 and southern Vancouver Island in 1966. Today, grey squirrels are well-established throughout the Lower Mainland and Capital Regional District, where they have successfully established themselves among native species. While the grey squirrel has been successful in the city, many native species have declined. That said, the gray squirrel’s population is unlikely to supplant other species.
They are common in urban areas
The eastern gray squirrel has adapted to the fast pace of city life by using its long tail and sharp claws to navigate the urban environment without difficulty. This scavenger is a popular fixture in city parks, and will happily eat whatever it finds in urban areas. The gray squirrel is one of the most common wildlife species in New York City. Its long journey to become a part of the cityscape was difficult, but now it thrives in a bustling metropolis.
They co-exist with American red squirrels
Despite their similar appearances, gray squirrels do not have much in common with red squirrels. While they share a home in some parts of the U.S., they are generally solitary. These mammals do, however, share their dens with offspring, and they will often congregate near bird feeders. While gray squirrels are not aggressive, they do protect their nests and food sources. Unlike red squirrels, gray squirrels spend most of their time inactive in their nests, but do spend a portion of each day grooming themselves. In addition, they go to bed early, curling into a tight ball before sunset.
They have a bushy tail
The long, bushy tail of a gray squirrel is one of its most distinguishable features. Its bushy length can provide an effective windbreak and shelter against the elements, both in winter and summer. The bushy tail also serves as an important communication tool, as a squirrel sitting still with a wagging tail is communicating with others in its area. As part of its territorial behavior, the tail also serves as a form of self-expression.
They mate in late winter and spring
The gray squirrel has a complex social structure. Males dominate females and live in close proximity. Both sexes defend small territories around their nests and dens, but males tend to be larger than females. The home ranges of both sexes overlap slightly, but males generally have larger home ranges. Home ranges are typically 0.4 to 2.4 ha. Adults are promiscuous, but associations between young and female may last all winter.
They make a nest of twigs
During the summer, Gray squirrels make a nest of dangling leaves and twigs. They weave together small branches gnawed from trees and line the nest with grass, moss, and leaves. Adults can build a nest in one day, depending on how much time they have available. If the nest is disturbed, they may move to a different location.
They are diurnal
As a diurnal animal, gray squirrels are active in the mornings and late at night. They have a gray coat with white spots and a prominent tail. Their eyes are also well-adapted for high light levels and are slightly angled upwards. This helps them watch for predators while also maximizing their visual acuity. While gray squirrels are arboreal rather than terrestrial, they are also excellent climbers and can navigate any angle.
They live in dense woodland ecosystems
Grey squirrels prefer woodlots with a high diversity of deciduous trees. They are most abundant in woodlots with oak, beech, and hazel trees. The presence of grey squirrels was correlated with the species diversity of these trees in Po-plain woodlots. However, there was no relationship between distance from a river and grey squirrel presence. Also, the landscape in which they were studied was different from other studies; woodlands in England were more densely spaced and contained hedgerows.
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.