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(The Republic)   Remember the great squirrel stampede of 1822   ( divider line
    More: Cool, great squirrel stampede, Hamilton County, Noblesville, corporate sponsorships, Westfield, county park, Lindsay Labas  
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8171 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jun 2013 at 11:11 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-06-23 09:29:51 AM  
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2013-06-23 12:37:53 PM  
I found an article on squirrel migrations. They seem to have been plentiful in the XIXth century. They are probably very much like "lemming" migrations--responses to wildly swinging populations which occasionally cause a boom in squirrel numbers followed by a bust.

Here is a plausible explanation:

These migrations occurred mostly during the month of September preceding a year in which there was a large production of food (acorns). Many squirrels the following year had two liters in response. But nature threw them a curve ball when the year turned out to have low food production. Because of this, squirrels migrated trying to locate food. Even large rivers like the Mississippi were no deterrent.

The paragraph doesn't quite make sense to me. The squirrels migrated the year before the boom in acorns? I think the author means they follow a year of exceptional acorn and squirrel productioon.

In any case, this is a natural phenomenon which seems to be less common today, probably because of human interferrence in the habitat of squirrels.
2013-06-23 12:46:44 PM  

WhoopAssWayne: skatedrifter: [ image 640x427]

Weird. I thought the gray squirrel was only the east coast, with the red squirrel only on the west. Not the case at all according to those articles.

I did some research on grey and red squirrels after reading one of the many articles lamenting the invasion of the grey squirrels in the UK.

The range of the red squirrel in North America is largely restricted to conifer forests--the great Boreal forest from Alaska to Eastern Canada, the Appalachians and the Rockies. The Grey squirrel has a natural range through the decidious Carolingian forests and low lands. Both types of squirrels have been introduced by man into areas in the West, California, etc.

The grey squirrel carries a disease that kills red squirrels and this is causing the ruckus among red squirrel lovers in the UK. Perhaps red squirrels are better adapted to cooler climates and conifer forest, but they may also be kept out of the range of the grey squirrel by this disease.

Red squirrels are probably common in places you know in the Western states, but they can be found in the Atlantic States as well.

In the Old World, red squirrels are common in Scandenavia and across the vast Russian and Siberian forests. In the UK, so much forest has been destroyed (99% by the 1950s) that the grey squirrel, which is larger, more aggressive and better adapted to open and lightly forested areas, is taking over. I expect red squirrels will survive in pockets, especially in the North where there are small stands of conifer forest.

This is an example of evolution in fast mode:  the grey squirrel is using bio-warfare (unconsciously, of course) and is better adapted to modern (post-1600) conditions, so the red squirrel is toast through much of its traditional range in the UK. Climate change does not help a bit. The grey squirrel is a Southern squirrel. It adapts well to humans and to warmer climate. They are tough little beggers.
2013-06-23 02:39:18 PM  
Not the first exodus, since a bully migration was witnessed by a Teddy Roosevelt ancestor:
2013-06-24 07:58:38 AM  

Cerebral Knievel: fusillade762: Inspired by more than 100,000 migratory squirrels that swarmed through Westfield and Fishers in the 1820s

Are you suggesting squirrels migrate??

squirrels, on occasion, are known to migrate. usually because of overpopulation and lack of food in one area forces them out to find food.

so, i guess its more of a squirrel exodus.

I'm now imagining a squirrel Moses saying "let my people go!" and parting Boggy Creek. Perhaps they would move to the lee of the stone.
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