Western Gray Squirrel Ecology and Conservation in the North Cascades

Grey Squirrel

Western Gray Squirrel Ecology and Conservation in the North Cascades
Methow Conservancy First Tuesday Lecture Series
Tues, October 5th, 7:30-8:00pm at the Twisp Grange
Download Poster (2 MB PDF file)
The event is free and open to everyone!

Come see the Methow Conservancy’s First Tuesday Lecture where researchers from the University of Washington and the Pacific Biodiversity Institute will explain more about ecology and biodiversity in the Methow Valley, what they learned from the western gray squirrel project, and how you can help. Plus, explore the hands-on world of squirrels and enjoy squirrel snacks. The Grange will open at 6:30 pm and free refreshments will be provided. More information and updates on the western gray squirrel project can be found at http://www.pacificbio.org/initiatives.html

Pacific Biodiversity Institute (PBI) has started a research and education project focused on the western gray squirrels in the Methow. This was described in an article in the Methow Valley News. Volunteers participated in a May 5, 2010 workshop to build sampling tubes and in a March 20, 2010 field workshop.

Our goal is to help Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) gain a better understanding of the extent of western gray squirrel presence in the Methow Valley and to involve the public in conservation efforts to help the western gray squirrel survive here. PBI is working in partnership with WDFW, conducting non-invasive hair-tube distribution surveys. This technique attracts western gray squirrels into an open-ended PVC tube using their favorite food, walnuts. When the animal enters the tube, sticky tape attached to the inside of the tubing collects hair, which can be identified to species either with a trained eye or under a microscope. When a positive identification of western gray squirrel is found, we will conduct follow-up nest count surveys to identify how robust the population may be in that area.

To learn more about the volunteer citizen science project studying western gray squirrels, see Pacific Biodiversity Institute’s website.

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