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Survey finds boost in Mount Graham red squirrel population

Posted at 9:39 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 17:57:43-04

Wildlife officials say there's been a notable increase in the estimated population of an endangered squirrel species from levels following a 2017 wildfire that devastated the animals' habitat on a southeastern Arizona mountain.

The state Game and Fish Department says the latest annual survey conducted by several agencies and organizations produced a minimum estimate of 67 Mount Graham red squirrels, nearly twice as many as the 2017 estimate of 35 but still far below the estimated 252 in 2016.
The squirrel population peaked at about 550 animals in the late 1990s, but typically ranges between 200 and 300.
The species was declared endangered in 1987. Its population peaked at about 550 animals in the late 1990s.
Mount Graham is 72 miles (116 kilometers) northeast of Tucson.