Red Squirrels are inhabitants of mixed coniferous and spruce-fir forests in our region. Although sometimes descending into the Ponderosa Pine zone, they apparently are absent from those ranges that lack the higher elevation forests (Findley et al. 1975).
Fig. 1. Tamiasciurus hudsonicus. Photograph by Donna Dewhurst, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Red Squirrels today are absent south of the Sacramento Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. Their presence as fossils in the Guadalupe Mountains fits well with the vegetational evidence of subalpine forest at the southern end of the range (Van Devender et al. 1979).
Stearns (1942) reported a squirrel the size of Red Squirrel, but no further details specifically relating to that fossil. It is placed in this account as a place of convenience.
Late Wisconsin: Dust Cave (Harris and Hearst 2012); Lower Sloth Cave (Logan 1983); Muskox Cave (Logan 1981); Mystery Light Cave (this volume).
Literature. Findley et al. 1975; Harris and Hearst 2012; Logan 1981, 1983; Stearns 1942; Van Devender et al. 1979.
There probably is no squirrel in our region during the time frame that is of this size other than Tamiasciurus hudsonicus.
Wisconsin: New La Bajada Hill (Stearns 1942).
Literature. Stearns 1942.
Last Update: 6 Jul 2012