Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

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Bradshaws
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City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Bradshaws »

I have something that has been weighing on my mind for a while.... I know of a park that is loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels. This park is in somewhat of an affluent neighborhood. The patrons of this park have complained of the rodents presents in this park for whatever reason and demanded that something be done. In all fairness there are hundreds of these squirrels running around. With this many small animals running around it naturally attracts predatory birds. I have seen everything from Great Horned Owls to American Kestrels. The municipality that maintains this park went about controlling this rodent problem by poisoning the squirrels. After the first attempt at getting rid of them, two large hawks have been found in the park, one was found dead and the other was found disoriented. That bird was taken away and I don't know what happened with it. :lone: I have yet to see another large bird since the first round of poisoning. On Monday I saw more pest control truck in this park ](*,). I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble or start a movement but it just seems that there has to be a better way!!

It seems like Mother Nature gets shafted in every one of these cases :doh: :(
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outdoor_lover
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by outdoor_lover »

@Bradshaws
Yep, the Wildlife always pays, even if they aren't the target species...I would call the City and file a Complaint about the way it's being handled...Or call Fish and Game...They might be very interested in the fact that the City is inadvertently poisoning the Birds of Prey....That's about all you can do...Unless you really want to get bold and write a letter to the Editor of the local Newspaper and plaster it all over the Media... ;)
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beterarcher
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by beterarcher »

I've seen this too. I'm pretty sure that the City Parks Dept was doing this at Reach11. They said that it is because the squirrels tunnel under the paths and it could hurt the horses. I was fishing at The Arizona Biltmore golf course and I saw burrows that had been covered and stomped on, which is what they do after they drop a poison pellet down the hole. There were also live traps which I believe were used to appear more humane. I bet they aren't relocating them to greener pastures. When I lived in CA, the parks people were pretty blatant about it. We would have to cease fire on the archery range while they dropped the pellets down the holes and then stomped them shut. They would be doing this while Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets were eating the gophers at the other end of the field. I went to the "wildlife Center" that was located at the park and they ignored me, saying that they didn't want to cause waves. Wildlife just cant catch a break. :(
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gummo
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by gummo »

beterarcher wrote:They said that it is because the squirrels tunnel under the paths and it could hurt the horses.
That's a myth. There's no evidence that animal burrows caused harm to any hoofed animal. I'm not suggesting that you thought that, but I wish the park officials would inform the public that this is not factual.

If people want to kill off snakes, foxes, and coyotes, then they should not complain that there are too many rodents.
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Bradshaws
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Bradshaws »

I know that the city had the best intentions when they did this but I agree with Gummo. If the city would just try to look a little bit forward and educate the public instead of appeasing their gut reactions "EEEK A RAT!" Or "It's going to attack my dog". There may have been a different outcome. You all know the saying " squeaky wheel gets the grease" unfortunately the grease in this case was poison. :(

I know the mind set of the city that did this very well.There are three very important qualifications that must be filled to do ANYTHING in the city. It must be CHEAP, it must be INEXPENSIVE and it can't COST A LOT!! Education is costly and takes time to show its results. So to the city it is ineffective.

Unfortunately if I were to make a stink about this through local media the only ones that would be reprimanded would be the people following orders not the ones giving them. These city workers work hard ( I know that's not popular opinion but its true) and in the heat. They did nothing but what they were told. It just sucks!!

In this case if the squeaky wheel gets greased and continues to squeak, it's not the wheel that gets replaced its the person greasing. :?
Last edited by Bradshaws on Aug 24 2013 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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chumley
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by chumley »

I asume that this park is not a natural desert landscape? Probably has grass and water, maybe even some big shade trees?

So we create an unnatural habitat that is conducive to rodents but don't like it when rodents thrive there? :roll:

I've stated it before and I'll state it again: People are dumb.
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big_load
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by big_load »

:(
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gummo
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by gummo »

All the park has to do is close the park for a few hours and have an annual event by having people pay the park $10 to shoot as many squirrels as they can with a high-powered pellet gun (or something similar) and the one who shoots the most, gets a $25 prize. Then they donate the carasses to a biology class for dissection. The event can be educational too by explaining why there are so many ground squirrels, teaching ecosystem balances and gun safety, and why this is done to save taxpayers money and to avoid poisoning method of controlling rodent populations.

The other alternative is to wait for the predators to establish themselves in the park and prey on the squirrels. Maybe they can introduce some gophersnakes as well.
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Alston_Neal
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Alston_Neal »

Pack up the furry little critters and take them to the Gilbert Riparian Area.
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chumley
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by chumley »

[-X

:sl:
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big_load
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by big_load »

Spicy!
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----
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by ---- »

Who gives a rat's :pk: about harmless ground squirrels, unless I'm missing something? I come from a different part of the country where a different species of squirrel can be a serious nuisance and safety hazard. As an example, in Atlanta we had to call someone to set traps and haul away squirrels that had taken up residence in the attic of the house we were renting. That was not just annoying, it was a safety hazard.
But these ground squirrels? What, are they unappealling to someone's eyes?
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Alston_Neal
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Alston_Neal »

@Cokadoodledude
You have obviously not spent time in the observation of what many refer to as Satan's Children. While rattlesnakes and Gila Monsters pose an immediate thread, these furry devils hiding behind a mask of big eyed cuteness are undermining our society as we speak. Like the town of Jerome with its many tunnels, our society will not fall prey to Global Warming or drought but will collapse upon itself into nothing but a cloud of caliche.
These devils are not to be trusted for they will turn on you in a moments notice. Once I saved one from the strangulations of a gopher snake, only to be bitten on the hand that saved it. Scarier still they climb trees. Sure they look like they're going for mesquite beans, but no, it's an opportunity to leap down upon you and grab onto your ear lobe with it's teeth and little rodent claws. This is why we Arizonans take these things seriously. :scared:
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big_load
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by big_load »

Once there was a horrible smell in our garage. It took weeks to isolate as it grew steadily worse, but we finally tracked it down to one of Mrs. big_load's knee-high north country canoeing boots. One of the several ground squirrels that frolics around boundary between inside and outside took refuge there in a moment of panic and was unable to extricate itself once the coast was clear. She's in favor of keeping them out, but not as adamantly as about keeping out the bears.
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by ---- »

@Alston Neal
Speaking of Satan's cuteness, my first experience with them was hilarious. Just after moving here in 2011 my wife and I were sitting at the summit of Camelback. I busted out a pack of peanut butter crackers, not realizing that the stuff is like crack for ground squirrels. I got bum rushed by about a dozen of them and only got to enjoy maybe half a cracker for myself. That was before I learned that the park services don't appreciate people feeding the wildlife. Whoops.
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chumley
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by chumley »

I was walking along the Rim Trail at the Grand Canyon last week and happened upon a Ranger Talk about wildlife in the canyon.

Mountain Lions. Bighorn Sheep. Black Bear. Fox. Bobcat. Coyote. Elk. Pronghorn. Javelina. Grand Canyon Rattlesnake. Scorpions. Spiders. Ravens. Condors ... etc.

What is the most dangerous animal in the Grand Canyon?

That's right. The squirrel. :o It's not even a contest.

Of course, I decided to argue with the guy by trying to clarify what the park considers "dangerous". To clarify, it is the squirrel that sends people to the hospital in numbers exponentially larger than any other animal encounter in the park.
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The_Eagle
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by The_Eagle »

@chumley They are a mean breed up there....
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Alston_Neal
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Alston_Neal »

@chumley
You made my point. You don't get to the top of the adorable rodent food chain by being a wiennie...

Edit: Coanbru...... :y:
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azbackpackr
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by azbackpackr »

Alston Neal wrote:Pack up the furry little critters and take them to the Gilbert Riparian Area.
Here we go again....! Watch out, Alston, you'll get banned again!
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beterarcher
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Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by beterarcher »

@azbackpackr
He can deal with it as long as it's only the 24 hrs like before. ;)
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