The following fantastic comment was recently posted on this topic from 2006, Leucadia Blog: Beacon's Beach Poisoned? Sir, whomever you are I thank you.
I happened accross this web site and have to post a few short comments regarding some issues of these type of squirrels.
We have plenty of them around here in Upper Lake too. However my land's flat and fairly big. If these are the Beecheyi Spermofolus type squirrel, then the bait they are using, if for rats, won't harm the squirrels if the pellets are of the type used in common house hold use for rats. I went through training at a wildlife rescue center to be able to rescue and reintroduce back into the property. As one of the pups liked to run around the house, she got into the box of rat poison so I took her to a vet and called the poison center on the box to try and save it. She had eaten some of the pellets and placed a cheek full under my leg while laying down as if to play "Bury the Stash" under my leg.
Well, the poison center told me that rat poison pellets will not harm squirrels and the vitamin K is not even necessary to keep their blood from coagulating, nore a prescription from any vet. Their systems are just not the same and do not react to poison rat pellets like rats do. Please take my word for this and save the money on a call to Decon Corp, who will tell you the same.
Let me explain a little something recently discovered about these little critters. There are many different species but not all species are related and some are not even related to the Rodentia Family. Regarding the Beecheyi, they are more related to the APE family, like you or I, and UC Davis not too many years ago did a complete brain, central nervous system, synapse, gene and many other very indepth tests, and found they are more related to the Caucasian Monkey that any other species. This is really no suprise to science as there are many researchers who believe man may have originated from a Squirrel like creature.
Yes, they will sometimes get out of control, are protected by Federal and State Law. One must have a permit, while other entities like schools, the city, or public parks, do not require a permit to kill them.
There is a downside to putting rat poison in a public park the way described in that it's a hazard to children, just for the fact it's a poison and yes it will kill mice and rats, which the poison can then harm birds of all types who eat the flesh, and smaller essential organisms we need for the ecosystem, including some species of fish in water near a area where enough poison is put out to wash in. If it's the ocean, I doubt very much that by the time it's obsorbed into the water of an ocean, it's enough to kill a shrimp. A pellet size may be different, so why even take a chance?
The smaller beecheyi can be a nuesence but there has never ever been on record a case anywhere, where a cow, human or any other living species has tripped into a squirrel hole and broken or sprained an ankle. That's a hoax and total mythe by people who hate them.
Their bark is loud and they can bark for hours. What's very interesting, is they are one of very few animals of any species that can throw their voices to confuse preditors. This works very well with cats who try to eat them.
The Beecheyi does not carry Rabbies, and there has never ever been one single case of rabbies reported that is linked to a Beecheyi or squirrel of any kind I could find in the history of man. They are very clean creatures and their hair is adapted to dirt, sand and other soils, and take dust bathes and prean each other and themselves like Monkeys do, you will never find a flea or tick attached to a squirrel unless they are very sick, have a long term illness or are alone, but even alone they are usually clean of most parasites that take blood. I've seen and examined lots of squirrels and never found a flea in the Beecheyi. They most likely have a natural oil protection that is effective against parasites.
Other species of squirrel will take all the food they can find to store for the winter, while the Beecheyi only takes very little as it hybernates, (One of only 4 known species that go into true suspended animation) and Nasa has been studying these little creatures to see how they do this in hopes of finding something to aid in long distance space travel, believe it or not. You may find this interesting and fun to look up for yourself on the Internet.
Funny how mythes can get started and how much can be said that is just not true, or true in some cases as far as these very cute critters are. They are fun to watch and rarely attack unless cornered. They run as a natural built in defense. I feel bad for them because they have to be so careful in life. One little tiny mistake and they die. They also have a very short life span of only about 4 years in the wild and 5 years max in captivity.
I believe they are great candidates for the study of longer lives for people. Especially genetic testing as they do with worms that are now living 7 times their normal life span thanks to labs that study them for longevity.
One last thing. When they do get out of control, nature has it's own way of correcting this with birds of prey and other animals like Bobcats, cayotes, and many other preditors. If the park closed a few days a week, then these animals will move in to take as many as possible once nature or preditors get the word out to their fellow preditors that there is a free squirrel lunch where no people are.
This was a very interesting forum. Thank you very much for the good reads.