T. Joy wrote:
Wish I hadn't read that.
Wow. Never occurred to me to eat a squirrel. Wouldn't think there'd be much meat on it.
Wouldn't rabbit be a whole lot easier, and yield more meat? Ah well, to each his own. I have nothing but respect for people who eat what they hunt.
In BC we have the Red Squirrel, or in some parts the Douglas Squirrel. The Grey Squirrel (which, confusingly, can also be black) is the "invasive" species. In some places it has all but "kicked out" the native ones. Flying squirrels are nocturnal and thus not frequently seen. Apparently there are no flying squirrels here on vancouver island.
The western gray squirrel was listed as a threatened species in Washington in 1993 by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, and its native oak habitat is recognized as a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Priority Habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers the western gray squirrel a “species of concern” in western Washington, and the U.S. Forest Service recognizes it as a “sensitive” species and a “management indicator species” for oak-pine communities. Washington populations of the western gray squirrel have not recovered from past reductions in their range and existing populations face significant threats to their survival. The western gray squirrel is vulnerable because of the small size and isolation of remnant populations. Major threats to the western gray squirrel in Washington include habitat loss and degradation, road-kill mortality, and disease. Populations of eastern gray squirrels, fox squirrels, California ground squirrels and wild turkeys are expanding and may compete with, and negatively impact western gray squirrel populations. Competition with eastern gray squirrels may be an important current issue for the Puget Trough population and in southwestern Klickitat County, while fox squirrels may affect western gray squirrels in portions of the Okanogan region. California ground squirrels, which became established in Washington in the 20th century, may compete with western gray squirrels in Klickitat and Yakima counties.
Habitat has been lost to urbanization and other development, particularly in the south Puget Sound area, and to catastrophic wild fires in Yakima County and the Okanogan. Conifer dominated stands of large diameter and mast-producing trees of pine and oak with interconnected crowns are particularly important in the life history of the western gray squirrel. Logging that removes the large mast-producing trees and results in evenly spaced trees with few or no canopy connections reduces habitat quality. Habitat also has been degraded by fire exclusion and historic over-grazing. In the south Puget Sound area oak woodland is being degraded by the invasion of Scot’s broom. Road-kill is a frequent source of mortality for western gray squirrels and is known to be a major source of mortality for the Puget Trough population. Notoedric mange, a disease caused by mites, periodically becomes epidemic in western gray squirrel populations and appears to be the predominant source of mortality in some years. The incidence and severity of mange epidemics appears to be related to stresses in the local population precipitated by periodic food shortages.