Critical Habitats (and Squirrels) Near Your Home
Who Runs The World? Squirrels – Or at Least They Help to Run It
Although you may see squirrels scrambling around every day in your backyard and neighborhood, some types of squirrels are actually on the endangered species list. Pretty nutty, huh?
You probably didn’t realize it, but there are over 200 species of squirrels in the world and although some of these species are ubiquitous, there are some that are in danger of extinction.
Why should you be concerned? Squirrels play an important role in nature, working as seed and spore distributors; During the autumn months, they stockpile seeds, nuts, spores, and plants; but they don’t always remember where these stockpiles are. Many of their stored food ends up going to seed and sprouting, spreading the prominence of some plants.
In this article we’ll take a deeper look into critical habitats for squirrels and other endangered animals, so we can all do our part to help the environment and its denizens out.
SOS! (Save Our Squirrels!)
via Amo Life
The American Red Squirrel is one species of squirrel that is on the endangered species list. The American Red Squirrel is smaller in size and features reddish-colored fur, their tail is bushier than many other American squirrels.
The American Red Squirrel can be found in various parts of the country, including the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, and the Midwest. Once on the critically endangered list, according to the International Union for Conserving Nature, their growing population has since moved them to “least concern” for extinction on that same list.
Why are Some Animals at Risk?
The main threat for species like the American Red Squirrel is deforestation, which affects thousands of species around the world. The map below highlights the habitats of various species that are at risk of extinction, including the Bull Trout near Missoula, Montana, Plymouth Red-bellied Turtles near Boston, Massachusetts and Narrow-Headed Garter Snakes near Phoenix, Arizona. Yes… there’re squirrels on there too, unfortunately.
You Can Do Your Part To Help
Use the map to figure out which endangered animals live in critical habitats near you, for example, if you live in Tucson, Arizona, you’ll be in close proximity to the endangered Mount Graham Red Squirrel. By placing squirrel feeders in your backyard and covering your chimney you can do your part to help save this squirrel species.
You can also reduce the effects of deforestation by going paperless at your office by using products with recycled packaging and try eating meat that hasn’t been farmed on deforested land. Likewise, donating to organizations that work to reduce and stop deforestation around the globe, like Rainforest Alliance, can make a major difference. Also, consider joining the National Recreation and Park Association a partner of The Nut Job 2 movie and a great place to find support for local community projects.
And one big piece of advice… don’t be like The Mayor in The Nut Job 2! He wants to get rid of the Oakton Park trees, and it’s going to be up to Surly Squirrel and his friends to stop the park becoming the next victim of deforestation.
Make Your Home Wildlife-Friendly
There are a number of things that you can do right in your own backyard to make your home more compatible with the wildlife in your area. Learning about the endangered species and other wildlife that could be living near your home is the first step.
From there, additional steps like making sure that your household garbage is inaccessible to scavenging critters, planting native plants in your garden and avoiding pesticides and herbicides in your yard can help tremendously. The National Wildlife Federation has a great newsletter that can help you stay in the know about animals at-risk near you and around the world.
All of this info have you feeling squirrelly? Save a few trees by redirecting that energy towards a trip to The Nut Job 2 in theaters August 11th!