14 Sep

Why Grey and Black Squirrels Dominate Red Squirrels

Many people are not aware that the grey and black squirrels are in fact the exact same species of animal. The only difference is a genetic defect in black squirrels.

The grey squirrel, despite its name, isn’t actually grey but a combination of black, white and orange stripes. The animal has hormones in its pigment gene that regulate the development of the different colours as the animal grows. The squirrel starts off as black and a hormone stops the black fur from growing while another hormone switches on white and orange stripes. A genetic defect stops the black squirrel from developing the additional colours so that the animal has black fur throughout its life.

Black and grey squirrels interact freely and mate with each other and can be lumped in the same category when exploring their dominance over the red squirrel in Canada.

Why Black and Grey Squirrels Dominate Red Squirrels

There is still a lot to be seen in the way of conclusive evidence of why blacks and grey’s dominate red squirrels but many scientists agree on a few possibilities.

Firstly, black and grey squirrels have a more varied diet than the red squirrels. The latter picks its diet very carefully and only sticks to a handful of possibilities. This difference gives the black and grey squirrels an edge over their red counterparts especially in urban areas where their natural diet may be limited.

Black and grey squirrels are also known to carry squirrel-pox. The red squirrel has no immunity for this disease and will die in a matter of days or weeks if infected.

Many scientists believe that the genetic anomaly in the black squirrel makes it more resistant to diseases. Although there is no conclusive evidence supporting this claim, it would explain why the black squirrel seems to survive better even than its grey relative.

Finally, the genetic mutation in the black squirrel gives it more testosterone. The same mutation is seen in the black jaguar and which makes it more aggressive. Scientists suggest that the same might be true for black squirrels. Since they have more testosterone and may be more aggressive, they are more likely to dominate the more docile and isolated red squirrels. Again, there is no conclusive evidence to confirm that black squirrels are indeed more aggressive than the grey.

How to Remove Squirrels from Your Home

Hire a licensed squirrel removal expert in Canada to remove squirrels from your house or yard. Humane eviction is the best way to get rid of wildlife and should be done by a professional to guarantee that it is safe both for you and for the animal.

Keep in mind that you can get charged for animal cruelty under the SPCA Act if you injure squirrels while attempting to capture them. The professional will remove the wildlife humanely and wildlife-proof your home to prevent a similar problem in the future.

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