Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
User avatar
Bradshaws
Posts: 259
Joined: Feb 12 2011 11:55 am
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: :(
“ you know what I think?... It doesn’t matter what I think”
User avatar
azbackpackr
Posts: 8290
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Flagstaff AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by azbackpackr »

I'm being a good girl.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
User avatar
Alston_Neal
Posts: 1906
Joined: Apr 19 2008 5:53 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Alston_Neal »

It's all in good humor as long as I don't use the 5 letter F word....... ;)
Semifunctional adult


Our humble abode..
http://www.oldterritorialshop.com
User avatar
The_Eagle
Posts: 1122
Joined: Jan 20 2009 2:46 pm
City, State: Far NE Phoenix, Az
Contact:

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by The_Eagle »

@Alston Neal
I think I see it in there somewhere.....
fenks, fenny, feoff, ferae, feral, ferde, feria, ferie, ferly, ferme
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
User avatar
Alston_Neal
Posts: 1906
Joined: Apr 19 2008 5:53 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Alston_Neal »

Coanbru..Yes I know it appears to have returned to our lexicon. I saw it reappear in the Gilbert thread title. All is well with the universe now, the kitties are purring and the cute little googly eyed rodents are squeaking..
Semifunctional adult


Our humble abode..
http://www.oldterritorialshop.com
User avatar
SgtLumpy
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 24 2013 12:25 pm
City, State: N Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by SgtLumpy »

gummo wrote:
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.
Actually, it's not a myth at all. One of my horses has been injured by a ground collapse due to the ground squirrels burrowing on our property. And I know more than one other horse rider who has been thrown from their horse because of the same kind of trail collapse. The horse owners around here are well aware of the problem and it is indeed real.

Ground squirrels are also a vector for bubonic plague.

I don't like the idea of poisoning them, especially with something that remains in them so that birds, cats and dogs then receive the same poison. But I don't like to see them overpopulate. We have an overpopulation problem at Sereno park at 56th Street and Sweetwater in N Phoenix. Part of the overpop problem is that a US Mail carrier lady leaves something like fruit loops cereal on the ground around their holes for food. Clearly that's a horribly irresponsible thing to do. The squirrels eat the junky food, immune system goes down, population goes up etc.

We have a family of coyotes living in the culvert that help keep the population in check. We also have several families of Harris Hawks and a few Kestrels. But there's more squirrels than all of them can take care of. They still burrow under the street to our home. They chew through buried PVC water pipes and electrical lines. They weaken the ground around concrete block walls and chain link fence posts, causing those to collapse.

They are a problem. Poison isn't a very good response. And it's illegal to shoot in the city limits. So I'm not sure what would be a better solution.


Sgt Lumpy
User avatar
chumley
Posts: 7639
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by chumley »

There's only one solution.

Carl Spackler!

Image

"To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit - ever. They're like the Viet Cong - Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that's all she wrote."

"I smell varmint pumpkin. And the only good varmint pumpkin is dead varmint pumpkin, I think."
Championing breakfast since 1994.
User avatar
big_load
Posts: 4561
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by big_load »

SgtLumpy wrote:So I'm not sure what would be a better solution.
Pied Piper (You'd better pay him, though, if you want your kids back).
User avatar
outdoor_lover
Posts: 1865
Joined: Aug 19 2011 7:49 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by outdoor_lover »

chumley wrote:Carl Spackler!
Perfect! We'll just blow up the whole neighborhood, that will at least take care of the Complaints..... :sl:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
User avatar
Alston_Neal
Posts: 1906
Joined: Apr 19 2008 5:53 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Alston_Neal »

Semifunctional adult


Our humble abode..
http://www.oldterritorialshop.com
User avatar
PLC92084
Posts: 723
Joined: Dec 22 2009 8:46 am
City, State: Vista, CA

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by PLC92084 »

Outdoor Lover wrote:We'll just blow up the whole neighborhood, that will at least take care of the Complaints....
Squirrel McNuggets !! - Spicy or Regular
User avatar
beterarcher
Posts: 474
Joined: Jul 23 2012 7:17 pm
City, State: phoenix, az

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by beterarcher »

@Alston Neal
Perfect!
Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it - not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits.
Anthony Bourdain
User avatar
outdoor_lover
Posts: 1865
Joined: Aug 19 2011 7:49 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by outdoor_lover »

@PLC92084
What!!! Haven't you seen Caddyshack homer??? The Squirrel survives!!! But the Golf Course aka Neighborhood doesn't...No longer anyone around to complain.... :D
@Alston Neal I wonder what the neighbor thought about Flying Squirrels being catapulted into his Backyard.... :sl:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
User avatar
gummo
Posts: 276
Joined: Oct 23 2010 10:07 am
City, State: mesa

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by gummo »

SgtLumpy wrote:
gummo wrote:
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.
Actually, it's not a myth at all.

Sgt Lumpy
Hmmm... I first heard that it was a myth by two horse ranchers. Then I did my research afterwards and did not see any documented cases on it. Even if I were wrong about it, and I might be (I have to see it to believe it), that still would not justify killing them for that reason because the soil on the trail is compacted and hardens and off-trail riding is prohibited.

I quickly googled it and got this: http://www.prairiewildlife.org/top5pd.html (see myth #1)

It's with prairie dogs vs livestock. I'm not sure if horses count as livestock. I think that they would.
User avatar
beterarcher
Posts: 474
Joined: Jul 23 2012 7:17 pm
City, State: phoenix, az

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by beterarcher »

@gummo
It seems like hooved animals have evolved to be compatible with critter holes in the ground. They have no toes or heels. the foot goes in the hole and comes right back out. So, I'm leaning toward myth also.
Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it - not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits.
Anthony Bourdain
User avatar
BobP
Posts: 1610
Joined: Feb 26 2008 3:43 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by BobP »

All I know is "if its on the internet it must be true". Bonjour ;)
https://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP
User avatar
beterarcher
Posts: 474
Joined: Jul 23 2012 7:17 pm
City, State: phoenix, az

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by beterarcher »

BobP wrote: Bonjour
Ah, you're a French model I see.
Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it - not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits.
Anthony Bourdain
User avatar
Alston_Neal
Posts: 1906
Joined: Apr 19 2008 5:53 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Alston_Neal »

"I quickly googled it and got this: http://www.prairiewildlife.org/top5pd.html (see myth #1)"

I'm willing to bet these folks aren't keen on vacuuming up the prairie dogs either and that the bovines are evil.
My stepdad was a rancher and for a time we lived on a ranch in NorCal, also my aunt and uncle were ranchers outside Silver City. So I grew up around ranchers and I remember they all didn't like yodies or city folk that would come out and let their dogs loose. Canines love chasing cattle and when cattle run they tend to go into blind panic and yes their legs do go into holes and break.

See that cute dog in my avatar, Queensland Red Healer. I always have handy a leash in case we come upon any livestock.
Semifunctional adult


Our humble abode..
http://www.oldterritorialshop.com
User avatar
chumley
Posts: 7639
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by chumley »

I'll start off with the following disclaimer: I know absolutely NOTHING about prairie dogs, squirrels, groundhogs, et. al. or their burrowing habits. Nor do I know anything about bovine creatures and their ability to successfully step in little holes in the ground.

But I'll let loose a little forum diarrhea here by opining that any four-legged animal that breaks one of those legs in a hole when another 3 legs are firmly planted on the ground violates my sense of the natural balance and stability that the laws of physics impart on this gravitational planet upon which we reside.

Then again, cows are really dumb.

:M2C:
Championing breakfast since 1994.
User avatar
CannondaleKid
Posts: 1421
Joined: May 04 2004 8:39 pm
City, State: Mesa, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by CannondaleKid »

I don't doubt there have been some cases where a horse at a trot may inadvertently have caught a hoof in a hole (or broke through into a hole) that may or may not have been created by some kind of rodent, but to say the rodent population should be killed off due to the possibility of that happening is simply ridiculous... a typical knee-jerk reaction by folks easily swayed by inaccurate headlines.

As far as I'm concerned, I read it in the newspaper and I read it on the Internet are one and the same... except with the Internet it's much easier to find and compare more different viewpoints and thus make a better decision for yourself what is more likely the truth.

If I were to hazard a guess at how many horses/cows have broken legs in holes caused by gophers/squirrels I'd bet it was less than has happened during horse races or rodeos. (And remember, at either of those events the horses are doing a human's bidding, so should we get rid of humans? Some, anyway??)
:M2C:

Just another crazy thought... what if a horse stepped on and killed a rodent? Awww, tough luck for the rodent, he shouldn't have been there.

So why is a horse any different? I've seen many hazards along some very rough trails that folks on horseback have ridden and if the horse makes a wrong step? Awww, tough luck for the horse.

Oh no! But it's a horse, you say? Should something be done different? Like go out and fix that part of the trail so it won't happen again? When does this kind of thinking end?

Whether human, mammal, bird, insect, reptile, what have you, :pk: happens! That's life, deal with it! ;)
CannondaleKid
User avatar
Alston_Neal
Posts: 1906
Joined: Apr 19 2008 5:53 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Park loaded with Round-tailed Ground Squirrels

Post by Alston_Neal »

Yes livestock just standing around and eating are not gonna break their legs. But have you ever seen how fast livestock will move when chased by canines?
It is flee or be eaten instinct at it's finest, the true definition of pack mentality.

Btw, I'm not advocating wiping out the little critters.
Semifunctional adult


Our humble abode..
http://www.oldterritorialshop.com
Post Reply

Return to “Fauna”