Population of endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel on the rise
An endangered species of squirrel that lives on southeastern Arizona’s Mount Graham has recently experienced a population boost.
The latest estimate conducted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Coronado National Forest shows about 156 squirrels in the Pinaleño Mountains.
It’s an increase of about 50 from last year, and wildlife officials say it’s likely due to a new survey method that more thoroughly examines the red squirrel’s habitat.
The 2017 Frye Fire burned almost 50,000 acres on Mount Graham and decimated the animal’s territory, making it unclear how many survived.
The red squirrel was listed as endangered in 1987. They live only in the upper-elevations of the Pinaleño Mountains and feed mainly on conifer seeds.