One of the original endangered species is about to be delisted. The Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus) will be removed from the endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after populations have rebounded to an estimated 20,000 individuals throughout most of the Delmarva Peninsula (eastern Maryland, southern Delaware, and a tiny piece of Virginia). When it was listed as endangered in 1967, the DFS’s range had been reduced to a small portion of Maryland. The DFS is about twice as big as the more common and widespread gray squirrel (S. carolinensis) and has been described as more laid back – they prefer to quietly roam around forest floors rather than race through trees.
Overhunting and habitat destruction accounted for their endangerment, and they have not been able to adapt to the modern suburban and urban environment as well as the gray squirrel. Stable populations of other subspecies of fox squirrel exist in many states in the eastern half of the United States, but fox squirrels are not found in New Jersey (where they were probably extirpated by the early 1900s) and New England.
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