Habitat Protection

Photo credit: Larry Meade

The Service is proposing to remove the Delmarva fox squirrel, one of the first federally listed endangered species, from the endangered species list. Fox squirrel habitat had declined to 10% of its historic range due to habitat loss from timber harvests and agricultural production. Conservation efforts, such as squirrel reintroductions and habitat restoration, have returned fox squirrels to 28% of their historic range – which is a level biologists believe can sustain the species.

Habitat protection projects, like the Chicamacomico River conservation easements in Maryland, also played an important role in the fox squirrel recovery. The Coastal Program worked with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and private landowners to protect over 442 acres of salt marsh, forested wetlands, forests, and farmland, located near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Coastal Program staff worked with partners to identify critical fox squirrel habitat, secure grant funds, and prepare easement documents.

The Delmarva fox squirrel is a perfect example of how the Endangered Species Act works not only to pull plants and animals back from the brink of extinction but can also provide flexibility to states and private landowners to help with the recovery efforts while at the same time supporting important economic activity.” - Secretary Sally Jewel

Photo credit: Tami Heilemann (DOI)

Although Delmarva fox squirrels look like your typical gray squirrel, they can be over two feet long and weigh three pounds.

Photo Credit: Mary Konchar