[thechat] Grey Squirrel Cull in UK

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Fri Jan 27 08:38:33 CST 2006

Bob Davis noted:

>>There are "black" Red Squirrels and "black" Grey Squirrels, 
>>etc. - so some will be small.

Hi Bob,

Sorry. I hadn't done any research ..... Surprise!  ;-P

[Why the heck would I research this anyway? I mean really! 
There's 'reptiles' and there's 'reptile food'.  What the 
heck could be interesting about 'reptile food'?]  

Anyway, I poked around a bit this morning and I have to agree 
with you. I'm not seeing any evidence anywhere that anyone 
considers North American 'black squirrels' to be a separate 

For example:

(a) doesn't show 'black' as a separate species
(b) discusses thermic advantages of 'black coated grey squirrels' 
(probably the Kent State population) in a northern habitat

Another site supporting 'black phase grey squirrel':

Given the number of taxonomic 'splitters' you run into in other 
areas (like marine shells or snakes) I was a bit surprised to see 
the consensus on squirrels.  <shrug /> Teeth and toes I guess, 
teeth and toes.

Finally, it wasn't population variation ... it looks like my 
comment on the smaller size of the black squirrels I saw at 
KSU actually seems to come from a different basis.  Looking 
through these screwy squirrel links it looks like the area 
where I grew up is predominately 'fox squirrel' territory.  

The sites say 'fox squirrels' range up to 1 Kg in size.  I'm 
sure I've seen individuals at *least* that size. [Being 'city 
squirrels', (and that city being Cleveland), I'm pretty sure 
I've also seen them mug small children and steal their lunch 
money.  Cheeky little chunky devils.]

Hmmm ... 1Kg ... Does that make these boogers the 'Hungry Man' 
specials of the squirrel world?

Anyway, for someone who's idea of a 'normal' squirrel is one of 
these 'fox squirrel' monsters ... the first time they see these 
'black phase grey squirrels' ... those guys are gonna look awfully 
tiny.  I'm pretty sure that's where my size comment came from.


Are we done with squirrels now?  I've got a three day class on 
hoofstock coming up I should be thinking about instead ... 
Ooooo, but I've got some new anime to watch!   ;-)

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