tough winter indeed….and another transmitter bitten off

February 16th, 2011 by nperlut

January seems to have been really tough on gray squirrels.  I am seeing far fewer signs of squirrels than last winter.  The snow is still deep, although now frozen enough for them to walk well on top.  But, I wonder if the rain on top of heavy snow has made it tough to dig into their acorn cache.

Danielle found transmitter 294 bitten off and laying on top of the snow.  The transmitter was near a big shagbark hickory that this squirrel nests and basks in, so no surprise.  Glad it was bitten off outside the nest rather than inside!

the squirrel blog begins with a sad snowy note….

February 9th, 2011 by nperlut

Ahhh the first UNE squirrel blog, how exciting.  This project has become far more active…and interesting then I imagined when it began in the Fall of 2009.  The squirrelologist crew this semester includes 11 super dedicated students out trapping and following our radio collared squirrels through the deep snow and cold cold temps.  Which leads to why this first blog begins on a sad note.  075, a very wandering male, was found dead two days ago, burried in a foot of snow near the beach.  A necropsy is in process and I will post as soon as I hear anything back.  The squirrel did not have any apparent wounds, but it did have plenty of fleas.  It amazes me that fleas can make it through the harsh Maine winter; their nests must be amazingly warm and insulated.  I wish I could get into one (minus the fleas of course).