[Transcribed from 2 April 2010 Transylvania Times]
Brevard’s white squirrels would seem to be doing well as preparations are being made for the Sixth Annual White Squirrel Festival on Memorial Day weekend.
Under the supervision of the Heart of Brevard, community volunteers conducted the 13th Annual Brevard Squirrel Count this past Fall over a three square mile study area centered on the Courthouse.
The Count is not meant to be a true census but rather an estimate of the percentage of the white versus the gray variant of the Eastern Gray Squirrel.
This year’s estimate of 36.7% is the highest yet on record, with the 13 year average being 27.4%. Overall abundance of squirrels, both white and gray, is higher than average but well within the range observed in the past.
The highest percentage of the white variant (88.9%) was observed on the Brevard College campus in the area surrounding Boshamer Gymnasium and the Paul Porter Center for the Performing Arts.
However, the overall abundance of squirrels there is low. The best combination of high percentage and high density (measured in white squirrels per acre) is along the southeast margin of the study area, north of Brevard Elementary School between Elm Bend Road and Outland Avenue. To see how different Sectors of the study area compare, click here.
Organizers wish to thank the following volunteers: Mountain Sun Community School, Phrank Polsenburg, Susan Parker, Mary Amaudin, Marite Currier, Paula Paddich, Sarah Malmin, Beth Suttles, Anne MacArtney, Shirley Martin, Rebecca Kindred, Julia Batliner, Lauren Weed, Frances Pledger, Elaine Trozzo, Linda and Craig Rodemaker, Bill and Joanne Carroll, Juanelle Burrell and Kathy Roush .
To participate in future counts or in becoming a designated Squirrel Spotter for a neighborhood contact Madrid Zimmerman (828-884-3278; firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of the Heart of Brevard, or Bob Glesener (828-862-3231; email@example.com), Director of the White Squirrel Research Institute.
To view more details or results from previous years, click here.
Rank Ordering of Sectors for 2009
By (1) % White, (2) White Squirrels/Acre, & (3) Total Squirrels/Acre
The rankings below are intended to allow interested persons to identify areas within the city of Brevard where they are most likely to encounter white squirrels. Percentage by itself can be misleading since even if the percentage of the white variant is high, if the total number of squirrels is low, their chances of an encounter may be very low. Since different Sectors have different acreages, the abundance is expressed in squirrels per acre or density. These density values are meant for comparison purposes only, i.e., relative density. The numbers come from the squirrels seen during the annual squirrel count. Since all squirrels will not be out during the brief time a Sector is counted and all squirrels out will not be seen by the observer, we realize that these abundances are gross underestimates of the actual values. Estimates of actual density in selected cases indicate that real density is approximately 8-10 times relative density.
Below the tables is a map showing the location of each Sector. Enlarged maps of individual Sectors can be found by clicking here.