The California ground squirrel is oft-maligned for its propensity to dig holes where we don’t want them and to occasionally dine on gardeners’ tasty plants.
Many other California natives, however, depend on ground squirrels. They are an important food source for golden eagles and rattlesnakes and are also eaten by coyotes, foxes, large hawks, and gopher snakes.
As a featured item on so many predators’ menus, it’s no surprise that ground squirrels sleep, raise their babies and store food in underground burrows. Squirrel burrows also provide shelter for tiger salamanders, snakes, and burrowing owls.
The Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s resident California ground squirrel was found when only a few weeks old and raised by people, in their home – never a good idea. Because she is too used to humans, and not afraid of potential predators, she can not live in the wild. She is very social and interested in people, often interacting with museum visitors.
If you’d like to help them give her a name, please submit your suggestion here: http://wildlife-museum.org/naming/?utm_campaign
*** The Lindsay Wildlife Museum is located at 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, CA (925-935-1978). You can learn more about this wonderful place at http://www.wildlife-museum.org
Even better, drop by for a visit and see the museum and its amazing resident wild creatures for yourself. You’ll love it (them)! Have a Happy New year! /Gary