This blog is a place to share, learn and sometimes laugh about ground squirrels and prairie dogs. My days are spent talking about ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and other burrowing rodents. I am also a Speaker at Seminars throughout California, educating people on IPM and organic methods of controlling their populations.
Is it a Plague Infected Ground Squirrel or a Zombie?
Okay, so this isn't a photo of the ground squirrel with the plague.
Wouldn't it be cool if it was?
Scary squirrels might prevent people from trying to pet or feed them. A zombie-looking ground squirrel would also make identifying those infected with the plague easier. The squirrel could be removed and the area could be quarantined and treated.
When it comes to the plague, the fleas are the real bad guys - the ground squirrels just happen to be the carriers. This week, parts of the Angeles National Forest were shut down and campgrounds closed because a plague infected ground squirrel was discovered. People were forced to change their summer vacation plans so the ground squirrel burrows and area could be dusted for fleas. For more info see the article from the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-plague-squirrel-20130725,0,3215912.story
Unfortunately, some people see ground squirrels as cute little nature …
Did you know that California Fish and Game Code specifies it is illegal to release ground squirrels elsewhere without a written permit [11, 18, 20]?
Facts about Ground Squirrels: That might be a "ground" squirrel up in that tree. They are excellent climbers. During 1
season, a pair of ground squirrels and their offspring can remove about ¼
acre of wheat or alfalfa.20
squirrels eat as much as one grazing sheep. 200
squirrels eat as much as a 1,000 pound steer foraging on grazing land.In
California, ground squirrels cause $30 to $50 million per year in
agricultural and other damageGround
Squirrels are opportunistic feeders:Grains:alfalfa, wheat, oats, rye, and barleyFruits:apples apricots, peaches, prunes, oranges,
and tomatoesNuts:walnuts, pistachios, and almonds. Vegetables
& Field Crops: beans, peas, sugar beets, and peas -often taken at the seedling stage.Injure
trees by gnawing on barkPrey
on ground nest…