How to report, and host, Lincoln's flying squirrels

8 months ago 232
PR Distribution

How to report, and host, Lincoln's caller flying squirrels

They screwed the slender woody container to an oak histrion 2 weeks ago, hoping Lincoln’s newest taxon — the confederate flying squirrel — would marque it a home.

But the instructors astatine the School of Natural Resources connected East Campus haven’t encountered immoderate of the critters successful their caller digs yet.

They did find imaginable grounds of visits — tiny bony marks connected the peanuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds they’d near successful the box.

The entranceway is excessively constrictive for the much communal fox squirrel to get in. A tiny vertebrate could person squeezed through, but it couldn’t person near bony marks, said Larkin Powell, a prof of conservation biology. That near the anticipation that a rodent recovered the meal.

Still, a way camera Powell trained astatine the histrion caught nighttime images of the nocturnal carnal scurrying astir the trunk, and past leaping disconnected a limb.

“I’m comfy saying there’s grounds they’re utilizing that box,” helium said.

Powell got progressive past month, aft an East Campus histrion unit taking down a burr oak encountered 4 flying squirrels surviving successful a hollow limb.

And that amazed him, due to the fact that helium didn’t cognize Lincoln to beryllium location to flying squirrels; the nearest colonisation was astir 100 miles to the southeast, successful and astir Indian Cave State Park.

He contacted the authorities Game and Parks Commission, which wasn’t arsenic surprised; since 2018, its biologists had confirmed 11 flying squirrel sightings astir the city.

After the East Campus find made the news, Powell learned of different encounters.

Several sightings from the Country Club Neighborhood, including a homeowner who’d had six successful his attic past year. A study from Fremont. One from an East Campus-area yard.

“A batch of reports,” helium said.

But the School of Natural Resources hopes to tract more, truthful they tin larn each they tin astir the species. It precocious launched a website — Southern flying squirrels: a national subject task for Nebraska — with a brace of goals.

First, it’s encouraging anyone who sees a flying squirrel to capable retired a reporting form, with the determination and statement of the brushwood and — ideally — a photograph of the animal.

“Any sightings radical person volition archer america however wide they are,” helium said. “And it would besides commencement to reply questions astir however agelong they’ve been successful Lincoln, if they’re truly widespread, oregon if there’s conscionable a mates of small hotspots.”

It’s already working. The tract got its archetypal study Thursday greeting from a homeowner adjacent 40th and Normal, who included photos of flying squirrels squatting successful his birdhouse taken successful 2020 and 2021.

The tract besides has elaborate plans for gathering and installing nesting boxes. The plan was perfected by Don Althoff, a flying squirrel researcher successful Ohio who has built and installed 400 boxes. But helium besides has East Campus connections -- helium earned his master’s grade determination successful 1978 and, successful the past fewer weeks, has shared his expertise with Powell and others.

Powell hopes homeowners usage the plans to physique their ain boxes, and that they hold to enactment successful the probe project. That could mean allowing UNL students and instructors and Game and Parks unit to travel inspect the boxes, oregon it could beryllium arsenic casual arsenic emailing immoderate flying squirrel enactment updates.

The website besides includes a reminder: Flying squirrels are considered a threatened taxon successful Nebraska, and shouldn’t beryllium disturbed without a peculiar permit.

“And you don’t privation to grip them anyway, due to the fact that they person bully large teeth, adjacent though they’re small cute critters.”

The lone nesting container connected East Campus volition soon beryllium joined by more. Once students instrumentality for the outpouring semester, Powell and School of Natural Resources manager John Carroll program to big what they’re calling a box-raising party.

“We’ll person the pieces, and person the students enactment them unneurotic and assistance enactment them up.”

How to assistance a flying squirrel

For plans to physique and instal a nesting box, oregon to study flying squirrels for portion of a probe project, spell to: go.unl.edu/flyingsquirrel

Reach the writer astatine 402-473-7254 oregon psalter@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter

Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.

Read Entire Article