The Cheyenne Urban Forestry Division will place “Please Don’t Feed Squirrels” signs throughout Cheyenne parks in response to an abnormally high population of destructive squirrels.
Due to the habitual feeding of squirrels, their population has grown to an unmanageable level in several parks and natural areas. This growing population of squirrels and their aggressive habits have increased tree dieback and mortality. Squirrels like to chew and feed on branches and tree trunks, often removing the bark and cambium layer, which disrupts the movement of water and nutrients throughout the tree.
With older trees, as squirrel damage increases, branches become girdled, which results in extensive dieback that weakens the tree. With younger trees, squirrels often girdle the trunk, resulting in tree mortality. Unfortunately, this trend is occurring in several parks and is threatening the vitality of the forest canopy.
To get the squirrel population to a more manageable and sustainable level, the city is discouraging residents from feeding squirrels. “Currently, in several parks, there are more squirrels than the ecosystem can really handle,” said Mark Ellison, City Forester. “Squirrels are wild animals that can fend for themselves and shouldn’t be treated as our pets.”
For further information, please call the Forestry Division at (307) 637-6428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.