Love ‘em or Hate ‘em, you can help to study them
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"Unlike most mammals, tree squirrels are diurnal, active year round, and can live well near humans. Because of this, the range of tree squirrels is expanding and they are an important component of our urban ecosystems. However some places have only one species of tree squirrel while others have two, and some places that should have squirrels don’t. I am studying what factors influence the distribution and abundance of squirrels with the help of thousands of citizen scientists participating through www.ProjectSquirrel.org. This Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger), photographed during a census, is a species that is usually not found in densely urban areas in Chicagoland but is common in some suburbs. Though not the most numerous organism depicted in this photograph, the squirrel is the most dominant one. In many urban areas, squirrels are second only to humans as the most influential mammal on the violets, crocus, daffodils, sycamore, oak, bluegrass and similar organisms also depicted in the photo."