Although gray squirrels were native to this area but not as common as today (until 1906 it was legal to hunt squirrels in the District), black squirrels were new. No matter your opinion of squirrels, we have to live with them. There are more than 200 squirrel species all over the world, with the exception of Australia. The color variations are the result of a genetic mutation that causes excessive pigmentation. Here are some tips on understanding the squirrel and their behaviors, better. It comes in a variety of colors, such as white, gray, brown and black. By 1923, black squirrels were being noted outside of the Zoo grounds but still inside the Capital Beltway. Yet, they are actually the same thing as a gray squirrel. Once people started hunting squirrels from the ground with guns, black coats became a disadvantage. Rare black squirrels could become a more common sight in East Anglia, according to an expert who has mapped the spread of the rodent in the UK. Their black color is just simply a product of genetic mutation between the gray squirrels and fox squirrels. Unlike species that change color seasonally, like the long-tailed weasel, these rodents retain the dark coloration their entire lives. Black squirrels are becoming an increasingly common sight because of a genetic mutation which stops their fur turning to grey and could make … Today, they occur most often in the northcentral counties. All About Squirrels - Characteristics and Behaviors. Once, black-phase gray squirrels were found throughout Pennsylvania. Black squirrels, first recorded in Britain 90 years ago, are a genetic mutation of grey squirrels. The black squirrel is found in most areas where there are gray squirrel populations and co-exist in peaceful relations but are hostile to other squirrels. “The fact black grey squirrels have become so common right across North America is possibly because black fur offers a thermal advantage, helping them inhabit regions with … Sighting a black squirrel for the first time is exciting.

Some consider squirrels cute and entertaining. Squirrels are a familiar rodent, seen in many parks, backyards and forests. Black squirrels are actually a sub-group of the same species of the eastern gray squirrels. Other than colour, black squirrels have the same size, behaviour and habitat as greys. According to the Stanley Park webpage, Westfield’s original two black squirrels were kept in cages, did not adapt well to their new environment, and eventually died. Common mammals, like gray squirrels, are often overlooked.

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