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(Novermber 21st, 2004)

 Julie King and Alan Muchlinski would like to thank everyone who has participated in this study.  Julie has completed her
 masterís thesis and is now working on issues related to the Island Fox on Catalina Island. The results of Julieís research,
 for which she received the 1st place award in the biological sciences graduate student category at the California State
 University Research Competition in May 2004, is available via her masterís thesis in the Cal State L.A. library.  The title of
 Julieís thesis is ďThe Current Distribution of the Introduced Fox Squirrel (Sciurus
niger) in the Greater Los Angeles
 Metropolitan Area and its Behavioral Interaction with the Native Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus). 

The study will be repeated in 2014 to determine the spread of the fox squirrel population over a 10 year time period.  
We hope that you will take part in the renewed study at that time.

Link to Southern California Western Gray Squirrel Research Project

Southern California Fox Squirrel Research Project


            Fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) were introduced to the Los Angeles area in about 1904.  Civil war and Spanish American war veterans residing at the Sawtelle Veteranís Home on Sepulveda and Wilshire Boulevards brought fox squirrels to this site from their homes in the areas surrounding the Mississippi Valley (possibly Tennessee).  Other introductions of fox squirrels to the Los Angeles area may have taken place during more recent times but detailed records are not available.


By 1947 the fox squirrel was considered a pest species by local walnut growers and by the Agricultural Commission.  Between 1904 and 1947 the fox squirrel extended its geographic range eastward from Sepulveda and Wilshire Boulevards through the Santa Monica Mountains, northward into and across the San Fernando Valley, and over the Santa Susana Pass into the walnut groves of the Simi Valley.  Range expansion continues to take place as fox squirrels are now found as far south as the Palos Verdes peninsula and Long Beach, and as far east as the cities of San Dimas, West Covina, Hacienda Heights, and Brea.


            The Western gray or California gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) is native to the southern California area and occurs primarily in wooded areas near, and in, the local mountain ranges.  Western gray squirrels can also be found in some of the less disturbed open areas that remain in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan region.  With the continuing expansion of the fox squirrel into new geographic regions of southern California, fox squirrels are coming into contact with gray squirrels.  Will the introduced fox squirrel displace the western gray squirrel from its native habitat?  This is one question that we hope to answer through the Southern California Fox Squirrel Research Project.


You can help us gather data for the Southern California Fox Squirrel Research Project. 


We are tracking the range expansion of the fox squirrel by using a Geographic Information System mapping program.  If you complete and submit the survey form below, you will be providing valuable information to us on the present locations of gray squirrels and fox squirrels in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.  We will use the street addresses that you provide on the survey form as location points for gray and fox squirrels.  Although we are particularly interested in location reports from areas near the boundary of the current range for the gray and fox squirrel, all location reports are valuable and all reports will be accepted.  Reports on locations of fox squirrels in Orange and Ventura Counties, in addition to Los Angeles County, are also very important to us.


The other information you provide on the survey form below will also assist us in our project.  We thank you for your assistance and we hope that you enjoy seeing the gray squirrels and the fox squirrels in southern California.

Thank You,

Dr. Alan Muchlinski

This study is supported in part by a grant from the Los Angeles County Commission of Fish and Game.

Date of sighting: 

Location/Address of sighting 
 (e.g. 1234 Oak St., Los Angeles, CA, 90032 or Pinecrest Blvd and La Cieniga Ave, Los Angeles)

How many fox squirrels were observed?: 
                                                                 Photo by:  Weidong Luo


How many gray squirrels were observed?: 
                                                                 Photo by: Allen M. Johnson

Did you observe any interactions between tree squirrels? (Check all that apply):

No interactions observed
Aggressive interactions between 2 fox squirrels
Aggressive interactions between 2 gray squirrels
Aggressive interactions between a fox squirrel and a gray squirrel
Playful interactions between 2 fox squirrels
Playful interactions between 2 gray squirrels
Playful interactions between a fox squirrel and a gray squirrel

Single Family Residence
Local or State Park
Zoo, Arboretum or Botanical Garden
Commercial or Business Establishment
School, College or University Campus
Vacant Lot

Are there raptors (e.g. hawks), cats and/or dogs present at the area?
Raptors None Low Medium High
Dogs: None Low Medium High
Cats: None Low Medium High

When did you first observe the presence of fox squirrels in this particular location?:
 within the past year
within the past 5 years
within the past 10 years
within the past 20 years
over 20 years ago
not sure

How did you find this web page?


Please enter any additional comments you may have in the space provided below:

(Optional) Please tell us how to get in touch with you.  Information provided below will be kept confidential and  no solicitation of information of any non-related nature will be made.

Please contact me ONLY through email, if necessary.
Please DO NOT contact me at all.

Thank you! Your help is very much appreciated.

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