Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants data on fox squirrel sightings

If you have seen a big squirrel with a long, bushy, fox-like tail, Florida wildlife biologists need your help.

What you saw was a Florida fox squirrel, and biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are asking you to record your sighting online as part of a research project.

"The fox squirrel survey is a wonderful opportunity for children and adults to become amateur naturalists and get involved in conserving Florida's wildlife," said conservation commission wildlife biologist Courtney Hooker. "We will learn more about where the Florida fox squirrels are."

Fox squirrels are twice the size of common gray squirrels. They often have distinctive, masked faces with a black head and white nose and ears, but there are wide variations in coloration — from tan to gray or black.

The fox squirrel survey is part of a research project by the conservation commission and the University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. It combines the latest in online-mapping technology with the public's enthusiasm about sharing wildlife observations.

The survey began in August and data will be collected through at least January. So far about 600 sightings have been logged.

Fox squirrels have been observed throughout Florida, but knowledge about their distribution is limited. Fox squirrels spend more time on the ground than in trees and often escape enemies by running. Their favorite food is pine seed.

The Sherman's fox squirrel is found in Central and northeast Florida pine forests and is a state species of special concern. The Big Cypress fox squirrel is a state-threatened species in southwest Florida. The Southeastern fox squirrel lives in the Panhandle. All of Florida's fox squirrels are protected from hunting.

For information on fox squirrels, visit the "Species Profiles" area of MyFWC.com/Wildlife.

>>fast facts

How to help

You can use the state fish and wildlife commission's Google map application at https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/foxsquirrel/GetLatLong.aspx to enter the location of any fox squirrel you spot. Your squirrel sighting will be logged automatically and assigned a specific latitude and longitude.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants data on fox squirrel sightings 10/06/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2011 8:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated

    Footballpreps

    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive

    World

    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.