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September 23, 2008

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Holly Mattei

I don't know if this help your count of the squirrels but I spotted one of these fox squirrels last summer while visiting my mother-in-law at the villages in Florida. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a giant black tail race across the yard , ran outside to see what it was and ended up following to a nieghbors yard where it ran up onto the roof and perched looking at me for a good 5 minutes. Not till I got back to my in-laws house did my mother-in-law tell me I had seen a fox squirrel. She had never seen one but her neighbors told her there was one around. This was in 2007.

Robert Giles

Thank you very much for this observation. I shall send it to Florida officials and enter it into NatureSeen.

P. Noble

On Dec. 28, 2008, four of us were golfing at Cypresswood Golf Club, 1099 Clubhouse Road, Winter Haven, Florida, and we saw a Sherman Fox Squirrel. We got to within 15 feet of it and just watched. It didn't seem wary of us. Just went about its business. We watched for about five minutes. Very strange looking animal - thought maybe it was a throw back of some sort.

Robert Giles

Excellent observation and report. I know the Florida officials will be interested. I'll forward your note. Thank you very much.

beth

My co-worker and I have seen one on several occasions at work. We work in ICP (international corporate park) which is in a wooded area newly developed. The one we have seen is fat and bigger than your normal squirrel with a yellow belly and yellow front paws and a very long fluffy tail. He moves rather slowly and doesnt seem extremely afraid of humans.

Bob

Beth,
Thanks for your observation. I'll send it to a Florida official as I have others. I have no reply from them. A balance must be struck between information so that others may enjoy the wild faunal resource, and other people who may act to harm the animals (and in this case, the entire species).

Tom

I get to see the Shermans fox squirrel on Eglin Air Force Base on rare occasion. I used to live in West Bay Florida and saw them often when trekking through the woods around Woodville and Pine Log.I wonder how much of a problem for these endangered species controlled burns are.

Bob

Thanks for the observation Tom. I became "intimate" with the Eglin base while training to become an Army ranger years ago.

Fox squirrels tend to use large spanses of mature, not very dense forests. The fires probably have no effects on squirrels except over time as they influence future oak forests.

Matt

I saw two of these on my trip to Florida and Georgia. One was in the Sand Lake area of Wekiwa springs state park, and one was near the north entrance of the Okeefenokee NWR.

Considering that both of these sightinings were within a few hundred yards of recent burns, (one was still smoldering), and considering that the very existence of their habitat is maintained by periodic fire, I would suspect that controlled burns are beneficial to these squirrels.

Robert Giles

Thanks Matt.
These observations and your thoughts will surely be useful to the biologists working with this species.

JM. Walker

We have a Fox Squirell that lives near us in Weeki Wachee, Florida. The area we live is across 19 from the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. The fox Squirell comes thru our yard daily and we never tire seeing him. We also see them frequently in other areas of Hernando and Pasco Counties.

Bob

JM Walker,
Thanks you for your note. It seems that the squirrel is more abundant than previously known. Your observations are helpful and together with those of others here may someday allow a clear picture of the abundance and distribution of this species to be developed.

Rod

We live in Martin County,Fl. We have been seeing a different type of squirrel in the area for a few years and did not know what type it was. We found your website and it comfirmed they are Shermans fox squirrel.They are extremely playful with each other.If we take some photos how can we forward them to this website?
Rod

Robert

Rod,
Thanks for your observation. I'll be glad to try to include your photos. Send them to rhgiles@ruralsystem.com with a note saying that I have your permission to use them. Thank you very much.

One reader said there were few trees near where they were seen. Are "your" squirrels living it trees ... or in other vegetation?

Bo Chambers

I saw and photographed a Sherman's Fox Squirrel on 2/10/09 in Western Martin County. It was near the side of the road at the base of an oak tree and I have a reasonably good image of it close up. I would like to submit it for your use if you would like

Robert

Bo Chambers,
Thank you for your interest. I'll welcome an attachment of your squirrel image to rhgiles@ruralsystem.com with a note giving me permission to use it. I'll give you credit within the post. Fascinating number of people interested in this animal...!

Greg

I just saw one of these squirrels crossing my dad's driveway near Bishop, Ga. I turned off my car and he climbed up a few feet in a pine tree and just stared at me for a good 4-5 minutes. He didn't seem wary of me -- actually, he seemed curious. I wish that I had had my camera with me. He was very large -- much larger than the typical grey squirrels that we typically have in north Georgia.

Robert Giles

Thanks Greg.

I'll pass along your observation to authorities. I'll be glad to share another image from you with readers.

The range of the species may be larger than previously documented.
Blogs and blogging may be more valuable than anyone realized.

Lynn Stinson

I just saw one of these squirrels on the Fort Frazier Trail in Bartow, Florida (Polk County) just north of the Ford Dealership while riding my bike. I stopped and watched him for a few minutes before he took off into the trees.

Pauline Dunn

My husband and I are wintering in Florida this year and live between Weeki Wachee and Homosassa. ALMOST everyday we have been seeing these squirrels that are large and have white noses. One of their bodies' is brownish-black-tan and the other is coal black. I marvel at these awesome creatures because I didn't know what type of squirrel they were. After considerable searching I now believe them to be the Sherman Fox squirrel. Add two more to the possible endangered list!!! (it's possible there are 3!)

Robert Giles

Thanks Ms Dunn.
Another great observation and I'll pass it along to the agency.

william cunningham

I've seen more than one may be a half dozen of these squirrels at Palmetto Pines Golf Course near Parrish Fl. They are quite unusual looking, I am an outdoors person and I was'nt sure of what I was looking at.

Robert Giles

Thanks Mr. Cunningham.
It's a fascinating animal. Your observation may expand the knowledge of the range of this animal.

Sharon Burt

I live near Lake Mary Florida and have seen a shermans fox squirrel several times over the last week.
I was unsure what he was as he spent alot of time on the ground in the horse pasture and was much larger and moved very differently from a grey squirrel. After some research on line I was able to identify him.

Robert Giles

Ms. Burt
Thanks you for your comment. I'm glad you have identified the squirrel. I'll add your location to the information. I just posted (a few minutes ago) another note of the squirrel with photos from a blogger. I hope you enjoy it ... http://faunalforce.typepad.com/faunalforce/2009/03/new-fox-squirrel-note.html
Bob

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