NPS Photo by D.A. Buehler
Red squirrels are seen around Wind Cave National Park throughout the year. They are active even in winter, they do not hibernate.
As you stroll through the forest on an autumn day, you may be startled by something chattering harshly from the trees above. Follow that surprising sound and you'll find a reddish-brown, half-pound of indignation!
The red squirrel, a type of pine squirrel, is demonstrating typical behavior: it is defending its territory by "scolding" you. Along with this sound, it will also be making threatening postures and rapidly jerking its tail. If the trespasser does not take these warnings seriously, an actual attack with forepaws and teeth may follow!
What is the red squirrel defending?
Other interesting facts:
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.