Distribution of the Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) within California as of 2015
Creley, Carly M.
Muchlinski, Alan E.
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Abstract - The goals of this study were to map the distribution of the invasive eastern gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, in California as of 2015 and to assess range expansion since the first documented sightings within the state. Range maps exist, but the last update by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was in 2007. An assessment of the rate of range expansion over time has not been conducted, but comparisons between the locations of initial sightings and the current distribution are included. Location data were obtained from museum specimens, wildlife rehabilitation centers, a roadkill database, and research-grade citizen observations. Range maps were produced with ArcGIS software. Populations of eastern gray squirrels are currently concentrated around Sacramento and Davis, the western side of San Francisco Bay, within as well as north and east of Santa Cruz, within Monterey, north of the Golden Gate Bridge through Marin County as well as around Santa Rosa, and around the Bellota / Stockton area. Isolated populations on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay occur around Berkeley, Hayward, and Pleasanton. Observations extend into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range from north of the American River to south of the San Antonio River. We suggest that the eastern gray squirrel might become more damaging to the two native diurnal species of tree squirrels in California (Sciurus griseus and Tamiasciurus douglasii) than the introduced eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger).