Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel–An Endangered Species

Lob here. Same photo over there, but I understand that’s how things are done.Lob, the Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel

The guest Field Correspondent flows with the tide. Especially when he’s from the Eastern Shore.

Yesterday, I introduced you to a Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel’s favorite tree, but we can’t spend all our time up there. The ground is best for searching for things to eat: pine nuts, but also the nuts, and shoots of the hardwood trees around here—oak, beech, hickory and walnut. If you want more information on us, a good place to start your search is the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

mixed hardwood forest

Most of us here at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge live in the densest sections of the forest, where the nice refuge people have made sure things stay quiet with these signs.

Area Closed sign

Pretty cushy, huh? I bet you’re wondering why they are going to all this trouble for us, and not for Hickory and Nutmeg in their suburban home.

We’re endangered.

I guess Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrels are kind of picky about where we live and what we eat, so when the forests on the 180-mile long Delmarva Peninsula disappeared, so did we. Back in 1970, my squirrel ancestors were brought to the refuge as part of an effort to save us. Here, they do things like close areas where we live quietly, but also manage the forest to keep it open and lots of different species growing, and put up nest boxes for us as substitutes for hollow trees.

Nest box

(Don’t tell them, but some of us live in leaf nests, just like Hickory does.)

It’s been years and generations of help from humans, and the population of Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrels is growing, but we’re still on the Endangered Species list for Virginia.

There’s a special day set aside to recognize Endangered Species coming up on May 17th. For more information, go to the National Wildlife Federation Website.


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