In my previous post, which can be found here, I talked about my observations and my thoughts as to why there weren’t any Squirrels when I was searching. In this post I will explain why there weren’t many Squirrels and why that is. The goal of Project Squirrel is to document where Squirrels are, what they eat, and what kinds of Squirrels are in different areas around the United States. Project Squirrel can be found here.
Through my research I found the reason for my unsuccessful search for Squirrels. I found that even though Squirrels are active most of the day they usually stop at midday. My search time was just after midday so they wouldn’t have been nearly as many Squirrels as there would have if I went earlier. Also, Squirrels aren’t as active in the Summer as they are in October because October is when the Squirrel’s acorns and hickory nuts ripen. The source of this information can be found here.
Another possible reason my search hasn’t been that effective is because the time of day I was searching is one of the most active times of day on campus. Everyone is on their way to classes and the number of people walking around may scare the Squirrels off. Also, there are vehicles driving around which are pretty loud that would scare the squirrels off. Another reason there may not be that many squirrels running around WCC campus is because there has been recent construction and deforestation around campus which may have scared some of the squirrels off.
My methodology for finding the Squirrels was pretty good though, I tried two methods, the first was to move slowly and quietly throughout the forest covering as much ground as possible. The second method was to sit and wait in one spot for about 20 minutes so Squirrels could get used to my presence. The second method seemed to be the most effective for us.
I have also managed to find another Squirrel, it was a Fox Squirrel that I found across from campus in the baseball field. This may have been because the baseball field isn’t used a lot so Squirrels would probably find it better than main campus because there aren’t so many people. Also, when I found the Squirrel in was early morning when Squirrels are most active so that may have been another reason I saw that Squirrel.
In conclusion, I think that if I changed the time of my search to be early in the morning in October and the campus was empty then there would be a lot more Squirrels to see. Although the data we gathered is still useful to Project Squirrel because a lack of data means that for some reason, perhaps the ones I have provided above, Squirrels have decided not to be around campus when we are looking for them.
Elbroch, Mark, and Kurt Rinehart. Behavior of North American Mammals. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. Print.
“Michigan Squirrel Species.” Michigan Squirrel Species. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2014.
“Project Squirrel Home.” Home | Project Squirrel. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2014.