One of the Original (Adorable) Endangered Species Has Recovered
November 17, 2015 8:22 AM   Subscribe

The Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel is bigger and meeker than the common grey squirrel, but neither of those attributes saved it from being endangered -- it was on the very first list of species to be protected under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966. Nearly half a century later, the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel will be delisted, indicating that its numbers and habitats have recovered enough to no longer need federal protection.

Forest clearing and hunting reduced the squirrel's range by more than 90 percent in the 20th Century. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the decision this week, leaving further protection to the states in which the squirrels normally live (DELaware, MARyland, and VirginiA), which have committed to continuing preservation efforts of the 20,000-strong population.

posted by Etrigan (10 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I never realized how long I've been a fan of squirrels until the recent Marvel Squirrel Girl comics. I always felt like Rocky should tell Bullwinkle to stop saying dumb things, Secret Squirrel was a better spy than James Bond, and I actually bought a Nutty Squirrels record before buying anything by Alvin & the Chipmunks (and Chip & Dale? Bah). Slappy Squirrel was my favorite character in Animaniacs, and Scrat totally stole the Ice Age movies (not that there was much to steal). It's just good to see that some real-life squirrels are making a comeback. And that 'vampire squirrel' looks exactly like I'd expect... no 'glittery vamps' in the squirrel world.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:45 AM on November 17, 2015

Maybe they need to evolve to be less delicious.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:47 AM on November 17, 2015

I went to the Delmarva Chicken Festival in 1976, not a squirrel in site. Good to see things are picking up.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:42 AM on November 17, 2015

posted by oneswellfoop at 10:51 AM on November 17, 2015

Oh! I live on the Delmarva peninsula. I think I saw one of these squirrels once on a hike and I was wondering what was up with that weird squirrel. The funny thing is I've been seeing headlines about this squirrel for a couple of days and never clicked on them because why would I think a tiny mystery in my life would be thus solved?
posted by jenjenc at 11:10 AM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Survival of the meekest.
posted by fairmettle at 11:18 AM on November 17, 2015

I've seen these guys here, and I can categorically state that they are not bears.
posted by sidereal at 12:02 PM on November 17, 2015

This is not Delmarva but I could not find a decent youtube of a Delmarva. Excellent sound.
posted by bukvich at 12:17 PM on November 17, 2015

1 species down... 20 bajillion to go!
posted by joz at 1:42 PM on November 17, 2015

These are truly super!
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:27 PM on November 17, 2015

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