Today was the first time in 30 years of living on Glencoe Swale that we’ve observed a NATIVE squirrel scampering in the upland forest!!
This little fellow is a Douglas Squirrel. The Douglas Squirrel is native to southwestern British Columbia and the Pacific Coastal states all the way down to Northern California. The Douglas Squirrel needs trees that have cones with seeds to survive, so they only live in forests with plenty of conifer trees.
It’s ironic to see this squirrel now… just a few days ago, vital habitat was timbered at Glencoe High School as part of school improvement projects. A dozen mature conifer trees were felled. Hopefully, conifer forest habitat along Glencoe Swale will not suffer any more loss or fragmentation… wildlife depends on this area for shelter, food, water, and a place to raise their young. Giving this native species of Oregon squirrel an opportunity to thrive is an exciting goal, because the forest has largely been populated by invasive Eastern Gray and Eastern Red squirrels. On a related note, native Townsend’s chipmunks also appear to be making a come back. Both the Douglas Squirrel and Townsend’s Chipmunk are interesting wildlife neighbors.