#SquirrelAppreciationDay: Why you should celebrate squirrels

Why are squirrels such an important part of nature?

Many people look at squirrels and see the cute and cunning furry creatures and may not realize the important role they play in the world.

1. Many squirrels help in forest regeneration. When they bury seeds and nuts as a way to cache food for use later in the season, some are not recovered and grow.

2. Like most rodents, tree squirrels have a relatively short lifespan. Most live only a year or two. Hawks, owls, foxes and coyotes all depend on squirrels as a food source.

3. Researchers can look at tree squirrel populations to measure just how well a forest ecosystem is faring.

4. Scientists may develop a new drug that can limit the brain damage caused by strokes based on research on how ground squirrels hibernate in the winter, and the way their brains function while they do.

5. Squirrel antics at bird feeders has generated many family businesses. Building the better bird feeder that deters the squirrels’ tendency to disassemble and investigate bird feeding stations and develop food that only birds like has created jobs all across America.

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