Squirrel Awareness Month

Many people view squirrels as nuisances that must be tolerated. They are often regarded as “tree rats” that dash in front of cars, invade bird feeders, or drop acorns on unsuspecting heads. Most do not recognize them as an integral part of nature, yet they are precisely that.

It has been estimated that the world’s squirrel population plants over a billion trees each year. This occurs because squirrels bury acorns in the ground to store as food for the winter months.

Fortunately for the world’s ecosystems, the majority of these acorns and seeds are forgotten and ultimately grow into trees. For this reason alone, we should celebrate October as Squirrel Awareness Month and give squirrels the recognition they deserve.

The History of Squirrel Awareness Month

This month was established by Greg Basset during a visit to the Grand Canyon in Arizona in 1995. He claims to have been signaled by a squirrel, an encounter that profoundly altered his life. Upon returning to his home in Chicago, Illinois, he founded the Squirrel Lover Club. This organization would go on to create Squirrel Awareness Month, and the rest is history.

Amazing Facts About Squirrels

We find squirrels to be quite fascinating, so we delved into some research and discovered the following incredible facts about them—facts we are now eager to share with everyone celebrating Squirrel Awareness Month.

  • There are over 278 different species of squirrels worldwide.
  • Squirrels inhabit cities, the Arctic tundra, rainforests, and farms.
  • A squirrel’s teeth grow at a rate of 6 inches per year. Constant gnawing keeps them from overgrowing.
  • The word “squirrel” originates from the Greek words “skia” and “oura,” which together mean “shadow tail.”
  • Gray squirrels were nearly eradicated from some cities in the mid-19th century, but reintroduction efforts were successful.
  • While most squirrels do not hibernate, a few species do.
  • Flying squirrels do not actually fly; they glide.

Observing Squirrel Awareness Month

During this month, people are encouraged to learn more about squirrels. They should also photograph squirrels in their local areas and share these images on social media with the hashtag #SquirrelAwarenessMonth. Additionally, individuals might consider leaving out some nuts for the squirrels in their vicinity throughout the month.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 1 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
October 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
October 1 Sunday