Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus)
in Sussex County, Delaware
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National Links: Regulatory Profile | Recovery Plan
In Delaware, the federally listed Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus) occurs only in Sussex County, where there are three distinct populations: Assawoman Wildlife Area, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, and Nanticoke Wildlife Area.
Historically, Delmarva fox squirrels (DFS) occurred throughout Delaware, but were completely extirpated from the state at the time that they were placed on the endangered species list in 1967. In 1984 and 1985, the squirrels were reintroduced to Delaware at the Assawoman Wildlife Area, and that population was designated as "nonessential experimental" through a “Special Rule”.
In 1986 and 1987, DFS were translocated to the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, but these DFS were not given an experimental designation. In 2001, a naturally occurring DFS population was discovered in the Nanticoke Wildlife Area. The Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Nanticoke Wildlife Area DFS populations have an endangered status, as do all of the Maryland and Virginia populations.