What is the Average Weight of a Grey Squirrel in Western North Carolina?
If you are living in western North Carolina, you’ve probably wondered, “What is the average weight of a gray squirrel?” This article provides answers to your questions, including: What is the average weight of a grey? And, what are their common threats to local ecosystems? In Western North Carolina, gray squirrels are the largest species, outweighing red squirrels by up to three times.
Gray squirrels are larger than red squirrels
The gray squirrel is the most common squirrel species in WNC. Its coat is gray, but it also has a white variant. There are also fox squirrels in the area. These animals range in size from two to twenty-two inches in length and weigh up to two pounds. They are characterized by their pale gray body, black head, white snout, and white ear tips. In addition, there are two types of flying squirrels – northern flying squirrels and western flying squirrels. Northern flying squirrels are larger than gray squirrels and are restricted to high elevation spruce-fir forests.
The red and gray squirrels are often mistaken for one another, but they are different species. While the red and gray squirrels share a common habitat in western North Carolina, the red squirrels are a smaller version of these animals. Red squirrels are a common species in western and central North Carolina, but are rare in the eastern portion of the state. The red squirrel population is recovering after the introduction of the gray squirrels, but the grey squirrels are now a common sight.
They are arboreal acrobats
While gray squirrels are native to western North Carolina, their presence is decreasing in other parts of the country. The eastern gray squirrel is a widespread and invasive species that displaces native North American squirrels. It can also be a significant threat to the ecology of urban areas where it preys on native plant life. But it is not as widespread as we might think.
The gray squirrel is an arboreal acrobat, using its long tail to balance and leaping agility from branch to branch. They can even descend head-first from trees using the claws on their hind paws. Despite their high-tech skills, gray squirrels are also active on the ground and are often busy gathering nuts during the fall. In addition, gray squirrels can run at speeds of 14 miles per hour, and are able to swim over a mile.
They are prey to owls
Owls are predators of gray squirrels and the females court their partners with mating displays, which include diving rapidly toward the ground in a v-formation. The males offer gifts of prey to their mates, though the behaviour of breeding is not clear. The species is rarely seen in western North Carolina, and only occurs in certain areas in winter and spring. Also, these owls migrate south in search of warmer climates.
The gray squirrel is larger than the red squirrel of Western North Carolina and smaller than the eastern fox squirrel. The gray squirrel can easily be distinguished from its nocturnal cousin, the Carolina flying squirrel, because it is brown in color and has a loose flap of skin between its front and back legs. It can fly by using its tail to glide to new locations. It also preys on owls and northern pike.
They are a threat to local ecosystems
There are several reasons why the grey squirrel is a threat to the local ecosystems of western North Carolina. The species prefers mature woodland ecosystems with large mast-producing trees, which provide ample food sources. They also prefer oak-hickory hardwood forests over coniferous ones because they have higher mast forage availability. The eastern gray squirrel also only lives in parts of eastern Canada without the boreal forest.
Regardless of the cause of grey squirrel invasion, the species has already made inroads in the state. The eastern gray squirrel has overtaken the native American red squirrel in forests and parks. There have been twenty different Pleistocene fauna specimens containing S. carolinensis dated to the late Irvingtonian period. The species’ body size increased during the early and middle Holocene, and has decreased in size to its current state.
They are enjoyed by wildlife-watchers and hunters
Throughout western North Carolina, gray squirrels can be seen in nearly every forest. These diurnal animals can be identified by their whitish belly and conspicuous bushy tail. While they are primarily gray in color, they may be a variety of colors. Some are reddish, black, or white. In some areas, gray squirrels are threatened by large-scale forest conversion projects.
These squirrels are the state mammal of North Carolina. They can be found throughout the state and are a favorite of hunters and wildlife-watchers. They have recently become more common in the forests of northwest North Carolina. But they are not without their disadvantages. While they are fun to observe and hunt, gray squirrels can be a nuisance when they damage property. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage these nuisance squirrels.
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.