Delmarva Fox Squirrel
Sciurus niger cinereus
The Delmarva Fox Squirrel may look similar to a common gray squirrel - as it has a silver-grey coat, short rounded ears and a white stomach - but this endangered species (listed since 1967) can grow up to 30 inches long, weigh up to three pounds and its bushy tail can reach 15 inches in length. It is one of the ten recognized subspecies of fox squirrels, which are the largest tree squirrels in the western hemisphere.
Besides its larger physique, these creatures are slower, shyer, warier and quieter than gray squirrels. When moving from tree to tree they usually descend down the first tree to the ground then climb up the second rather than leaping from tree to tree.
While many have never seen a Delmarva Fox Squirrel, these creatures live solely on the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia peninsula and prefer quiet farm fields or woodland areas, especially mature loblolly pine and mixed pine-hardwood forests with an open understory. Unlike the common gray squirrel, these creatures spend a considerable amount of time on the ground, rather than in trees.
The typical diet of Delmarva fox squirrels includes nuts, seeds and acorns from oak, pine, maple and hickory trees. They will also eat fruit, fungi, insects and mature green pinecones.
The animals mate in late winter and about 44 days later, usually sometime in February through April, females gives birth to a litter of one to six young, which she cares for until they are weaned.
Photographs Courtesy of John White
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