In Squirrel Week 2019, I wrote about the Kluane Red Squirrel Project. Since 1987, scientists have been living in Canada’s remote Yukon territory and studying the critters.
Ben Dantzer, an animal behaviorist at the University of Michigan who has been going to Kluane since 2006, said it was vital that research continue.
Last year was a “mast year,” he said, when white spruce trees produce a superabundance of cones, the squirrels’ favorite food.
“What this means for the squirrels is [they] breed extra early: Whenever there is high food in the autumn, squirrels breed much earlier in the spring,” Dantzer wrote in an email.
Because of that, Squirrel Camp opened early this year. That proved fortuitous, because researchers were already in place before travel restrictions came down. For now, six scientists are staying there, monitoring the squirrels and reducing contact with the outside world.
Wrote Dantzer: “We believe that for now, everyone is safer up there — they have EXTREME physical/social distancing! — compared to the trek home and the airport situations they will encounter.”
Read the full article at The Washington Post.