Brevard’s white squirrels would seem to be doing well as preparations are being made for the Seventh Annual White Squirrel Festival on Memorial Day weekend.
Under the supervision of the Heart of Brevard, community volunteers conducted the 14th 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 37.1% is the highest yet on record, well above the 14 year average being 28.1%. Overall abundance of squirrels, both white and gray, was up representing the third highest in count history. Statistical analysis indicates that while the percent white has steadily increased over this period, abundance fluctuates widely and is highly correlated to available food, particularly hard mast (nuts), over the previous year.
The highest concentration of the white variant was once again along the southeast margin of the study area north and east of Brevard Elementary School, Warren and Bluebird Lane, McCrary Acres, Morgan Heights and the general area between Elm Bend Road and Outland Avenue. Because of its park-like landscape, Brevard College remains a good place to view your first white squirrel although their abundance there seems to have declined slightly in recent years. More details can be found at the following links:
- Overall 2010 results
- Map showing 2010 percent white by Sector
- Details of 2010 count by Sector
- Bar graph of 14 year history (1997-2010) of percent white
- Bar graph of 14 year history (1997-2010) of abundance (gray plus white)
- Details of previous years’s counts
- Purpose of the annual squirrel count
- Brevard white squirrels’ distinctive pattern
- Origin of Brevard’s white squirrels
- Information on white squirrels in general
- Overview of Findings of the White Squirrel Research Institute
To participate in future counts or in becoming a designated Squirrel Spotter for a neighborhood contact Madrid Zimmerman (828-884-3278; email@example.com), Director of the Heart of Brevard, or Bob Glesener (828-862-3231; firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of the White Squirrel Research Institute.
Rank Ordering of Sectors for 2010 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.
Map of sector locations