Optimum Abert's squirrel habitat is composed of all-aged ponderosa pine stands with trees in even-aged groups, densities of 168 to 250 trees per acre (496–618/ha), and 150 to 200 square feet per acre (34.4–45.3 sq m/ha) basal area. Catch up on the developing stories making headlines. Dogs are not as susceptible to plague, according to the statement.  After seeds have been disseminated Abert's squirrels are dependent on inner bark, which forms the bulk of the diet from November to April. They either nest in witches' brooms (misshapen balls of twigs caused by dwarf mistletoe) or make ball-shaped nests, one to three feet in diameter, out of twigs lined with moss, bark, leaves, fur, lichens, and similar materials about 20 to 40 above the ground. Abert's squirrel is named after Colonel John James Abert, an American naturalist and military officer who headed the Corps of Topographical Engineers and organized the effort to map the American West in the 19th century.  Abert's squirrel also extends a short distance into Wyoming where ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) is present. Wild mammals of North America: Biology, management, and economics. , In Durango and Chihuahua the squirrels are said to inhabit high altitude ponderosa pine stands, however, the ponderosa pines of Mexico have relatively recently (since at least 1997) been reclassified as a separate species Pinus arizonica (syn. International Union for Conservation of Nature, "Lista Actualizada de los Mamíferos de Mexico 2012", "Pinus arizonica (Arizona pine, pino de Arizona) description - The Gymnosperm Database", "The Mammals of Mexico: Composition, Distribution and Conservation Status", Abert squirrels influence nutrient transfer through litterfall in a ponderosa pine forest, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Abert%27s_squirrel&oldid=969982673, Taxa named by Samuel Washington Woodhouse, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2015, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from public domain works of the United States Government, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 July 2020, at 14:56. , The most apparent causes of Abert's squirrel mortality are food shortage and injuries (such as broken teeth) that lead to mortality. New staminate cones are entirely consumed; only the pollen is eaten from dried cones.  Eight litters were composed of two to five young each. Parts eaten include seeds, which are the most highly preferred item, inner bark (particularly of young twigs), terminal buds, staminate buds, and pollen cones.  There are nine recognized subspecies, including the Kaibab squirrel (S. a. kaibabensis), formerly recognized as a separate species (S. kaibabensis). The nine subspecies are listed in the Distribution section.. Seeds are disseminated from cones in October and November. A squirrel in Colorado has tested positive for the bubonic plague, also known as the "Black Death," according to local health authorities. Caitlin O'Kane is a digital content producer covering trending stories for CBS News and its good news brand, The Uplift. Officials tested one, and since it was positive for bubonic plague, they expect others are also infected.  In Mexico where ponderosa pines are absent, the species is found in stands of the closely related Pinus arizonica. Seeds from up to 75 cones may be eaten per day per squirrel during the months when seeds form the squirrels' major food.  In another Colorado study, Farentinos estimated 227 squirrels per square mile (82/km2) in fall 1970 and 317 per square mile (114/km2) in fall 1971. A study published by FEBS Letters in 2014 demonstrated how a pigment gene missing a piece of DNA, can be a determinant of a eastern gray squirrel's coat. The Associated Press reported that authorities in the Bayannur district raised the plague warning earlier this month, ordering residents not to hunt wild animals such as marmots. Outbreaks included the Great Plague of London (1665-66), in which 70,000 residents died.". Got a confidential news tip? Abert's squirrel also extends a short distance into Wyoming where ponderosa pine(Pinus ponderosa) is present. , Reynolds  suggested that northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) may take enough Abert's squirrels to regulate Abert's squirrel populations. The black coloration in eastern gray squirrels and fox squirrels is believed to both stem from a faulty pigment gene. In its statement, Jefferson County Public Health recommended several precautions to protect against the plague, including eliminating sources of food and shelter for wild animals, avoiding sick or dead wild animals and rodents and consulting with vets about flea and tick control. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should consult a physician," said JCPH. Hall, Joseph G. (1973). Squirrels also make a chattering call that can be confused with birdcalls. Abert's squirrel is confined to the Colorado Plateau and the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico; its range extends south in the Sierra Madre Occidental to Chihuahua and Durango in Mexico.  Female Abert's squirrels usually bear only one litter per year.  Findley and others mention that Abert's squirrels are common in mixed conifer canyons in New Mexico. Follow USA TODAY's Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller, Colorado Squirrel tests positive for bubonic plague. The bubonic plague, infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages, is an often fatal disease caused by bacteria. Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis. Interestingly, it is possible for two black squirrels to have gray-colored babies, if both the black squirrels are brownish-black, meaning that they only have one copy of the mutated gene.  Gambel oak acorns may also provide substantial food for Abert's squirrels.  In Arizona, ponderosa pine forests are most extensive between 5,500 and 8,500 feet (1,700 and 2,600 metres) elevation. Mushrooms and bark have been added to the diet at this time. Ranges were somewhat smaller in winter. BATH, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: A squirrel looks from a tree in Royal Victoria Park on April 23, 2013 in Bath, England.
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