Squirrel Awareness Month is an annual event held in October to raise awareness of squirrels. While many people consider eastern grey squirrels to be pests who consume all of their birdseed, congregate around urban garbage cans in search of pizza crusts, construct nests in the walls of houses, or cause damage to gardens, squirrels are much more than that. They are essential components of the ecology, and they are also quite attractive. Squirrels have a very vital function in the ecology, namely in forest regeneration. Because of their feeding and food-saving habits, they make significant contributions to the makeup of plant communities.
History of SQUIRREL AWARENESS MONTH
Squirrel Awareness Month was founded in 1995 by a man named Greg Bassett, who had an encounter with a squirrel. After that, he founded the Squirrel Lover’s Club to educate others about these adorable little creatures. Squirrels belong to the rodent family. There are more than 200 different species of squirrel around the globe. There are many different types of squirrels, such as ground squirrels, flying squirrels, woodchucks, chipmunks, and others. Although squirrels are typically thought of as an undesirable nuisance, their presence benefits the ecosystem and, in urban areas, contributes to the attractiveness of parks.
Squirrels were not common in American cities until the mid-19th century. To have squirrels in city parks, you’d have to change the landscape through tree planting and building parks. You also needed to change people’s behavior by dissuading them from killing squirrels and instead encouraging people to feed the animals.
In 1847, the first recorded introduction took place in Philadelphia’s Franklin Square. New Haven and Boston followed suit a few years later, in 1850, bringing in squirrels. By the 1860s, the squirrel experiment had come to an end, with many squirrels either dying or being killed due to concerns that they might disturb birds and cause insect problems. However, squirrel releases resumed in the 1870s on a larger scale, as enormous parks were built in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Chicago, and other big cities, providing a welcome habitat for squirrels to live and thrive.
SQUIRREL AWARENESS MONTH timeline
The first recorded introduction of squirrels takes place in Philadelphia's Franklin Square.
Boston and New Haven follow suit a few years later by bringing squirrels to their public parks.
Squirrel releases resume on a larger scale, as enormous parks are built in Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and other big cities
Greg Bassett has close contact with a squirrel, and as a result, he establishes the Squirrel Lover's Club to spread awareness of these endearing rodents and create the groundwork for Squirrel Awareness Month.
SQUIRREL AWARENESS MONTH FAQs
What do you do if a squirrel approaches you?
The squirrels may move away from you at first. If this happens, just sit still and wait for them to return so that you may try again. Squirrels are naturally curious animals, and if they hear you making sounds similar to theirs, you can expect to see them approach you to investigate.
How smart is a squirrel?
Squirrels are very clever animals. To trick bystanders, they are known for putting on elaborate false food burial shows.
Do squirrels remember humans?
While wild squirrels aren’t especially affectionate, they do appear to recall their human hosts. In rare situations, they even return to re-establish contact with their human saviors.
SQUIRREL AWARENESS MONTH Activities
Feed the little creatures
You can celebrate Squirrel Awareness Month by visiting a public park and feeding the adorable little creatures. Squirrels love most types of nuts but they will also eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
Plant some trees
You can also celebrate Squirrel Awareness Month by planting trees. Trees provide shelter and food for wildlife such as birds, squirrels, and insects.
Share on social media
You can celebrate Squirrel Awareness Month by sharing posts and pictures of the little creatures on social media with the hashtag #SquirrelAwarenessMonth. You can also encourage others via your socials to plant trees.
5 Interesting Facts About Squirrels
They store food for winter
Squirrels need food during the chilly winter months, so they build a stockpile deep under the snow for consumption throughout the winter season.
Their front teeth don't stop growing
Squirrels' front teeth, like those of other rodents, continue to develop throughout their lives.
They zigzag to avoid predators
Squirrels flee in a zigzag fashion when they are threatened.
They engage in deceptive caching
At this stage, the squirrel digs a hole and fiercely plugs it up without using the nut to fend off any food thieves.
They gain weight before winter
Squirrels remain warm during the harsh winter months by gaining weight.
Why We Love SQUIRREL AWARENESS MONTH
They are friendly creatures
Only a small percentage of wild animals are comfortable approaching people. However, squirrels are mostly amiable animals. Many are used to being close to people, and some will even eat right off of their hands!
They are the gardeners of nature
In particular, in forest settings, squirrels have a significant ecological role. Their influence on plant composition has the greatest positive impact on the forest. They have an odd habit of burying seeds, which are their primary source of nutrition. They scatter them over the area and frequently lose track of their whereabouts when looking for them afterward. When that occurs, they are sowing seeds.
They exhibit several bizarre habits that are fun to observe
Squirrels exhibit some habits that humans find perplexing. For example, if you notice a squirrel rubbing its face on an acorn, it is marking the seed with its scent to make it easier for it to discover later. Ever notice a squirrel chasing another squirrel around? Well, that's a mate-seeking activity,
SQUIRREL AWARENESS MONTH dates