We are excited to announce that a pilot breeding program of Mount Graham red squirrels is officially underway at the Phoenix Zoo! The pilot breeding program is in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists, along with state wildlife agency and U.S. Forest Service partners. Mount Graham red squirrels are only found in the Pinaleño Mountains in Arizona, and in recent years this area has suffered from two large fires affecting approximately 35,000 acres of forested area. Population estimates for the red squirrel have shown a 48% decline over the past 15 years with an estimated 270 individuals remaining in the wild. Three pairs of Mount Graham red squirrels are now at the Zoo’s Conservation Center to establish the base population for the pilot breeding program. This breeding program is part of a 10-year pilot project for the MGRS recovery effort and is designed to understand their husbandry needs.
#PhoenixZoo #conservation (at Phoenix Zoo)