Central Park ‘Squirrel Census’ needs your help counting rodents

Posted On Wed, October 3, 2018 By

Posted On Wed, October 3, 2018 By In City Living

A Central Park squirrel, via Wiki Commons

“You will see [the park] through the eyes of the squirrel and you will learn the personalities of the Central Park squirrels,” said Jamie Allen, creator of the Squirrel Census, to amNY. The multimedia science, design, and storytelling project has set its sites on Central Park and is recruiting volunteers to count just how many of the furry rodents, specifically the Eastern gray squirrel, call the park home. Why, you may ask? Because “determining the squirrel density of a park is a way to understand the health of that green space.”

The project also cites the larger scientific community as part of their motive, explaining that the census will provide data for “future squirrel counts and other animal studies.” In addition to the number of squirrels in Central Park, the group hopes to learn behavioral trends that relate to one of the only mammals that has chosen to live right alongside humans in broad daylight. When the census is completed, the project’s chief cartographer will create a multimedia, interactive map of Central Park.

The Squirrel Census will take place from October 6th through October 20th. Volunteers can select a two-and-a-half-hour shift (7:30-10am or 4-6:30pm) for one of four areas of the park. During this time, Squirrel Sighters will be given a pencil, clipboard, tally sheets, and map.

Allen and her team previously organized squirrel counts in Atlanta’s Inman Park in 2012 and in 2015. Of the move to Central Park, she said, “We like to think of squirrels as the unofficial mascots of New York City. We hope park-lovers will come out and help count these furry New Yorkers in the name of science and the great outdoors.”

Learn more about the Squirrel Census and sign up to volunteer here >>

[Via amNY]

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