Even though I was born and raised in Michigan, if somebody asked me how many different species of squirrels live here (random!) I wouldn't even be able to fathom a guess. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, there are nine. That's news to me!
Don't ask me why I went down a rabbit (or squirrel) hole of all the different species that live here in Michigan, but what I found to be the most interesting fact is that we have not one but two different types of flying squirrels living here. Like I said, I was raised in Michigan and I don't remember ever seeing any squirrels flying around the treetops! I think I would've remembered that...
The nine different species of squirrels in Michigan are:
- Eastern fox squirrel
- Eastern gray squirrel
- Red squirrel
- Thirteen-lined ground squirrel
- Northern flying squirrel
- Southern flying squirrel
- Least chipmunk
- Eastern chipmunk
Like me, you may have just learned that chipmunks and groundhogs qualify as squirrels. Apparently squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs are all a part of the rodent family.
Do Flying Squirrels Actually Fly?
Though their name implies such the Michigan DNR says flying squirrels don't actually fly, as disappointing as that is. Instead, "They have a loose membrane of furred skin attached between their front and back legs. The membrane helps these squirrels glide from tree to tree." Why don't they just call them gliding squirrels then?
The State of Michigan allows squirrel hunting from Sept. 15 - Mar. 31. The fox and gray squirrels, the two largest species, are the most commonly hunted squirrels here although red squirrels are hunted by some. Those who hunt squirrel may choose to consume them or sometimes squirrels are hunted due to nuisance or damage issues.
Now you know all about Michigan squirrels!