Western gray squirrels occupy oak woodlands, oak savannas, and mixed oak-pine-fir woodlands. They prefer older oak trees with large limbs and continuous canopy cover to facilitate movement.
Major threats include habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. Vegetation changes due to fire suppression and residential and urban development are among these impacts. Populations may also be adversely affected by road mortality and damage control efforts.
Assess distribution and trends. Increase understanding of general ecology. Evaluate competition and other impacts from non-native squirrels. Assess dispersal patterns and the need for canopy travel corridors. Evaluate potential for reintroduction into unoccupied sites.
Work with private landowners to maintain and restore oak and mixed oak-pine-fir woodlands, especially large patches. Work with landowners experiencing damage to trap/relocate squirrels. Maintain continuous canopy within 200 feet of nest sites. Maintain or plant mast species, such as Oregon white oak and California hazel. Maintain older trees with large limbs.