What is Up With the Abundance of Squirrels?

(Photo Source: Farmers Almanac)

(Photo Source: Farmers Almanac)

KATE KELLY, WRITER

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A horrific scene of deceased squirrels have been sighted by citizens in many New England states.

People across New England, in the states New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine, have mentioned either seeing numerous dead squirrels laying on the side of the road, or darting out in front of them while driving.

One may ask, why are the squirrels doing this? Experts say that there was an inflation in the acorn population last fall; therefore, the squirrels have increased in population as well. Now this year, there are fewer acorns than there were last year, meaning there is not enough food to provide for the surplus population.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation also has noticed this abundance in the squirrel population this year. The Boston Globe interviewed Bill Boynton, a department head, who said, “I don’t have any body counts, so to speak. But our maintenance forces have been kept pretty busy.” They have constantly been cleaning up the deceased squirrels along the roadside.

Because of the inflation of the population, the squirrels are now desperate for food, forcing them to eat foods they would not normally touch. For example, they have been eating foods from many fruit trees. Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Rob Calvert has found that the squirrels have been eating his peaches and blueberries: “They will take bites out of peaches that are as hard as baseballs. I have never seen until this summer squirrels go after my highbush blueberry bushes, but they are all over them. It’s like a feeding frenzy” (Union Leader). 

Also, it is not just experts who are noticing the amount of squirrels, both dead and alive. The Farmers’ Almanac states that, “one motorist reported counting 390 dead squirrels in a 50-mile drive to the Massachusetts border.”

Interesting enough, the increase of the squirrel population and their unusual behaviors can be seen as a sign of a harsh winter.

Hopefully, the problem of the overpopulation will resolve itself so the squirrels affected by this can go back to normal.

 

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