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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Squirrels

Squirrels in Minot – there are not too many places in the Souris Valley in Minot that one does not see a number of squirrels. At times there seems to be a number of black squirrels in the mixture. I often wondered if these were a different breed of squirrel. Back in 1939, the same question was on people’s minds. It seems that in the early 1900’s, the Minot Park Board imported squirrels from Iowa and Wisconsin. One story had it that the squirrels were brought in to provide wildlife for Riverside, (now Roosevelt), Park. The idea was the squirrels, once released in the park would stay on the east side of the river, confined to the park. Obviously the early Park Board did not realize the ingenuity of the squirrels. George Valker, a long member of the Park Board, recalled that the black and foxtail squirrels were introduced to the Park in 1916. In 1939, Perna Stine, a biologist at Minot State Teachers College said the black squirrels are a variation of the grey squirrel family. Although the black squirrels are not as prevalent as the grey squirrels, there are still some in the city today.

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