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DNREC brings rare squirrel to Redden State Forest

Delmarva Fox Squirrel
Steve Droter
Chesapeake Bay Program
Delmarva Fox Squirrel

There are more Delmarva fox squirrels in Delaware.

The fox squirrel is a rare species to the state and four – two male and two female – were recently translocated from Maryland to Redden State Forest in Sussex County.

DNREC spokeswoman Nikki Lavoie says the animal – rare here in Delaware – has rebounded elsewhere to get off the federal endangered species list.

"Translocations like these, habitat management, and land protections have helped regional populations start to recover resulting in the species being removed from the federal endangered species list in 2015, but they still remain rare in Delaware with only two known populations before the translocations."

But even with that recovery there are just three established populations known in the state.

You shouldn’t be concerned if you see a Delmarva fox squirrel on your property, and while eastern gray squirrels have a hunting season, you cannot hunt Delmarva fox squirrels.

Lavoie explains what separates the two.

"The Delmarva fox squirrel has a silver-gray coat, short rounded ears, and long fluffy tails. They're much longer and fluffier than the more common eastern gray squirrel. If you go to you'll find photographs showing the difference between these two squirrels and you can see they're quite different."

There are additional translocations of at least 15 squirrels to Delaware planned for next spring.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.