Deconstructing a drey

November 17th, 2017 by nperlut

Squirrelologists Nikki Tengalia (left) and Erin Vien (right) ready to deconstruct these dreys.

The Squirrelologists contemplating winter in a tree squirrel nest.

The Squirrelologists identified that a collar was stuck in a nest–unsure if the squirrel died or if it had fallen off  (ps. tree squirrel nests are known as dreys).  The nest seemed to be only around 25 feet high and right along a walkway.  I grabbed the squirrel phone and called the facilities crew here at UNE, who came over with a bucket truck (see below).  They pulled down two adjacent nests–the first we have deconstructed as a group.  We recovered the collar (which had slipped off) and learned a few fascinating things about gray squirrel nests: 1) they chew the inside leaves into small particles, perhaps to help with insulation and/or perhaps to make things more cozy; 2) the at least sometimes eat only the inside flesh of acorns, like scooping ice cream out of a pint and leaving the container on your couch; 3) they used more sticks in the base of the nest as support than what I expected from looking at many from the ground.

UNE facilities crew to the rescue!  They came and got two nests out of these blue spruce.

UNE facilities crew to the rescue! They retrieved two nests out of these blue spruce for the Squirrelologists.

Squirrels and road kill

October 20th, 2017 by nperlut

inital tag and mortality locationsWe have tagged >120 squirrels in this project.  Of that group, remarkably, only two have died as roadkill.  Well, we have only found two.  There are likely a handful more.  This female was hit by a car in central campus today (10/20/2017).  We ear-tagged it (no collar) on 3/28/2017–it had moved about 400 m from the original capture location.  It appears she may have young interested in nursing in the recent past.  247 road kill in front of SASC 247_road kill in front of SASC

The spring 2017 Squirrelologists!

May 1st, 2017 by nperlut

And here they are, the mightly spring 2017 Squirrelologists.  Quite a crew. From right to left: Nicole Belknap, April Ater, Erin Nakamura, Sean Larner, Matthew Organ, Ryan Roseen, Hannah Buckley, Emily Murad, Jordyn Cote, Barrett Saint-Amour, Kyle Leblanc, Carolyn Wawrzynowski and Noah Perlut.

You cannot understand your study species unless you act like your study species.

You cannot understand your study species unless you act like your study species.


March 30th, 2017 by nperlut

Here in Squirreltopia we have had quite a week.  We now have the most active collars on squirrels than any other period of the project–9!  The Squirrelologists are busy to say the least.  And we have reached a magic number of 111 total squirrels caught in the project.  On top of all that, all data is collected via an amazing app.  Check out this screen shot of our active points.  I hope to have the map up on the web page and active so you can follow our activity in real time.  Screen shot of our new app for collecting field data.

Happy National Squirrel Appreciation Day… enjoy a map and data.

January 21st, 2017 by nperlut

squirrel mapOn this festivus day of squirrel enjoyment, please enjoy this home range map of three squirrels.

The map shows home ranges covering 2.1 acres (yellow: tracked 7/6/12 to 3/5/13), 6.1 acres (blue: tracked 8/21/12 to 6/24/13) and 24.1 acres (red: tracked 3/4/13 to 9/6/13).  GIS analysis and map by Ryan Roseen, Environmental Science major, GIS minor, class 2017.