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Thread: Worried about our squirrels

  1. #1
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    Default Worried about our squirrels

    My wife and I have quite a few squirrels that come to our back porch. We've gotten to know quite a few over the years. Recently we've seen a series of squirrels with injured front paws (like 1 a day). Is there a reasonable explanation for this? There is no visible injury but they will hold them closely to their body where you almost think it's broken. They will occasionally use it for balance, but it's clearly injured with their reluctance to use it when moving. I'd like to think there's a more natural reason for this then a cruel person...but the rapidity of the injuries has me worried.

    Of note, there has been some tree cutting in nearby yards and I also wonder if it's not an over aggressive squirrel displacement. Any thoughts are appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Worried about our squirrels

    Well, it COULD be that you are seeing the results of mating fights. Start checking to see if they are all males.

    2 springs ago, all of my squirrels started showing up with half of their tails ripped off. It was awful - I bet I had 15 squirrels running around with bloody tails. About two blocks from me they are in the process of shredding and destroying the woods to build $450K retirement homes and my assumption was that they were either running into issues with the tree cutters or perhaps getting injured on the construction equipment. I was never able to figure it out - but they were mostly girls so I know it wasn't from mating.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Worried about our squirrels

    I know for a fact one is a female. I'll ask my wife about the rest.

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Worried about our squirrels

    I would be extra vigilant. They might be sticking their arms in some type of snare and pulling back and injuring the arms. Is it always the front?

    I have been following a group in North Carolina. It is called, Help Asheville’s Bears. The locals noticed that black bears were showing up missing paws. At this time, there are twelve 3 legged bears. They wouldn’t let it go. They organized and created a FaceBook page. It was clear that something sinister was happening. $75,000 in rewards have been paid for information. Leg traps are being used to catch bears so the gall bladders could be sold to China. The ones that escaped chewed their leg off. It is horrifying but they have identified those involved and are taking action against them.

    This is an extreme case but it shows what persevering can do. If they had just thought, how horrible and done nothing, it would continue. I don’t want to think that someone is doing something to the squirrels but I would definitely be watchful. See what you can uncover. It might be simple squirrel fights but if not, I would want to know.

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: Worried about our squirrels

    Well...I’ll play devils advocate and say that I totally see the results of logging impacting nature’s balance. Being a contract timber faller I am on the front line of the destruction. Most jobs I do are selective cut or forester marked. The jobs I despise are clear cuts. I’ve been on some really really sick cuts that totally displaced all the fauna. Things like this sickens me...however, when a company gets a call to come and cut timber, I get a call to come do the work. Several times I have just been sickened by the owners “want” to remove the timber.

    That being said...I will say I have honestly never seen a squirrel injured from logging. I have rescued a lot of squirrels in the last 25 years of my cutting career. Heck...last Summer I was on a devestating clear cut and was collecting every White Lipped Green tree frog I found and released them where there would be no logging.

    I usually walk every square foot of a tract of timber and I seriously have never seen a dead or wounded squirrel where I have been cutting. The reason I like select cut tracts is because I have the authority to pass on a tree...for instance, if there is obvious squirrel holes on the tree...I walk by it. By using directional falling methods I do my best to not cause residual damage to the remaining timber. This select cutting can actually open the canopy and get regenerative growth started for a healthier forest in the future.

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  11. #6
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    Default Re: Worried about our squirrels

    In the Pacific NW in Oregon and Washington State, they have laid bare the hillsides that don't recover. You can see it both from the Air in flight and by car also. Having read on it back in H.S. I chose for a topic for speech class, I was even more horrified to see it looked like a bomb had hit, with roots pulled up left above the ground, the top soil washes away making reseeding moreover impossible, and run off a hazard for both man and the creatures also.

    And though the Western Gray is protected in WA State having been put on the endangered State species listing, without being put on the National listing their habitat isn't protected as it needs to be. In Oregon, the GAP mapping predicts the same endangered level Status. To make things worse, the powers that be, so called experts, have continually sought to pin the reduction in the population of the Western Gray to blame on the E. Gray that was introduced; yet a recent study one in WA State concluded that the E. Gray has not pressured the W. Gray as assumed, only bordering on one another's habitats, not inhabiting the same areas in total. What is the known cause of species reduction is habitat loss and fragmentation, the same as it is in the eastern US.

    Along the Eastern Seaboard and the Appalachians the larger Eastern Fox Squirrel subspecies has dropped in numbers nearing endangered, including the Delmarva Fox Squirrel, the Southern Fox Squirrel, and the four other subspecies that inhabit Florida and the Gulf coast region.

    One of the squirrels, now past was rescued from a cutting in the Mountains of VA. by a logger, the other young ones sadly didn't survive. She lived for many years in safety.

    Glad to hear you are doing what you can to pass on squirrel nesting trees.

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  13. #7
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    Default Re: Worried about our squirrels

    Diggies Friend, yes I have cut out west on specific cuts such as fire breaks and big horned sheep habitat and such. There were specifics in Colorado we had to go by as far as squirrels. Basically if there were tracks in the snow leading to a tree with more than random activity...that tree had to be left.

    As far as the clear cuts being replanted...out west does a pretty good job replanting...however it takes years to heal. What’s bad on the “No Coast” middle regions is that when large areas of hardwood timber are removed in clear cuts then they are replanted with pine. Some agencies in my region such as COE (corps of engineers) actually replant oak timber. One thing I notice when I log in Illinois is a practice called “set aside” where the government basically pays farmers to “not” plant crops but rather plant various species of hardwoods. I like seeing thing actually...but it still takes several years for a hardwood to get to the age of being able to produce nut crops.

    Here in North Central Arkansas...my Home...there has been an absolute horrid eradication of Eastern Red Cedar. Surprisingly enough...the USFS is to blame. Some over educated idiot in the “Forest Circus” here decided that it was necessary to eradicate the cedars to improve bat habit...over 3,000 acres worth in one long strip!!! I’m just sitting here like, “Oh yeh...hmmm...our main (3) protected bat species LIVE in cedar trees year around!! I know this for fact because I’m in the timber nearly every day of my life...unlike the office dwelling group of “Forest Circus” that decided that this cut was beneficial. I’m like to what and who??? There is so much wrong with this cut...

    1) Detrimental environment impact due to loss

    2) Detrimental habitat loss due to impact of the cut

    3) Detrimental environment impact due to the fallen timber is left on the ground and burnt the next year with too hot of a fire and damage to the few trees being left

    4) Out flow of Gubernment funding due to two main reasons... A) logging companies are not doing the cut (Illegals are...truth) B) the cedar was not offered as a “Sale” and just being cut down and burned.

    So basically it’s something that we in our area are very upset about. I personally think the USFS has intentions on spreading the Elk herd to here by doing this massive cut...which would be absolutely the stupidest thing ever...being the Elk herd originally brought here from out west came with CWD and now our Whitetailed deer have it! Not to mention Elk are a pain in the ass anywhere near cattle country because they take the fences down and the cattle get out and farmers are funded for cattle getting on FS land.

    Anyway...I could go on and on about this

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  15. #8
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    Default Re: Worried about our squirrels

    Timberbeast, thank you so much for opening our eyes to the real picture, the big picture, on this subject. Big Govt constantly screws up what it tries to help, usually because some academic comes in with special connections and big ideas and the government buys into it -- basically because they're too lazy to research it properly themselves.

    Thank you for being a cutter with a conscience.
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


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    If you can't afford the vet,
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    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."

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