Endangered Red Squirrel Population Increases By 59 Squirrels

November 15, 2013

Arizona Game and Fish says it is very encouraged after completing its annual count of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel. Spokeswoman Lynda Lambert says biologists found there had been an increase of 59 squirrels, bringing the total estimated number of red squirrels to 272. She says officials believe the supply of cones the squirrels rely on for food is the likely reason for the higher numbers.

“Small mammals like that, rodents especially, have large population fluctuations and it depends vastly on their resources and so we feel that the number probably bumped up because of a better cone crop for the last two years,” Lambert said.

She says the estimate of 272 squirrels is right in the normal range, of between 200 and 300 squirrels. She says the high of 550, in the late 1990’s, was extremely high.