Brevard’s white squirrels would seem to be doing well as preparations are being made for the eighth Annual White Squirrel Festival on Memorial Day weekend May 26th and 27th.
Under the supervision of the Heart of Brevard, community volunteers conducted the 15th 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 40.3% is the highest yet on record, crossing the 40% mark for the first time and well above the 15 year average being 28.9%. Overall abundance of squirrels, both white and gray, was up again representing the third highest in count history just eclipsing last year number of squirrels per acre. Statistical analysis indicates that while the percent white has steadily increased over this period. If the current trend continues, the white variant may be in the majority in about ten years. 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. The area south west of the Post Office was also a hot spot. 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 2011 results
- Map showing 2011 percent white by Sector
- Overall 2010 results
- Details of 2010 count by Sector
- Bar graph of 15 year history (1997-2010) of percent white
- Bar graph of 15 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 protected]), Director of the Heart of Brevard, or Bob Glesener (828-862-3231; [email protected]), Director of the White Squirrel Research Institute.