IOPWSquirrels

IOPWSquirrels

Activities

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 85% OF SQUIRRELS WORLD-WIDE ARE IN PERIL

- Monitoring and addressing Squirrels related problems in various geographic areas around the world.

-Talks to wildlife specialists (Squirrels specialists) about: diseases and potential to be transmitted to humans, care of Squirrels, legislation, habitat condition, etc.

-Gather information about Squirrels from various parts of the world: about their nature,environment, biology, habitats, history , legends and myths and compile statistic data.

-Research. Every type of research is done, as long as the Squirrel is not hurt, disturbed or harmed in any way. The emphasize is on field research and we rely heavily in field research done by amateurs ( naturalists, Squirrels-lovers, youths). Academics and other contributors are very welcome. Students in Nature, Environment, Life-Science, Earth-Science and all the realated fields are very welcome. ABSOLUTELY NO LABORATORY RESEARCH ON LIVE ANIMALS.

We absolutely oppose any exploatative, specicist experiments on Squirrels. The scientific experiments we accept are only the category of experiments that is acceptable to be conducted on an average human and that are currently being conducted on average humans. We agree that the results of research to be used for the benefit of both species: humans and Squirrels. The end result is the fight against the formation and spread of germs on the Planet, the fight against various human-made contaminants, the fight against diseases that occur in both species: humans and Squirrels , the in-depth knowledge of another species, the Squirrels, and the overall advancement of science, for the benefit of humans and all the other species on the Earth, ultimately to contribute in creating a healthy, germs , disease and toxins free Environment on the Planet.

-Advocacy activities: to inform and educate population about Squirrels and to find solutions that benefit both , humans and Squirrels, to use non-violent, non-confrontational methods of animal-rights activism (such as petitions).

-We will strive to create natural and human-made sanctuaries for Squirrels around the world.

-Generally, we undertake programs, projects and activities that are suitable for a specific area and/or for a specific issue as may occur , with the final goal to protect Squirrels and increase their welfare, while building friendly links between them and humans.

PROJECTS

The following projects are open to anyone interested to play an active part in our Organization, as an active member. There is one requirement :Love.

"Tell us your story"

If you live in an area with Squirrels (anywhere in the world) and you have a story that happened to you in which a Squirrel was involved, we want to hear your story.

Send us the following information: location , the surrounding environment (description and the other animals living there), the description of the Squirrel (if you can, include sex and age), one or more pictures would be very good, and then write the story and the approximate time it happened.

"Myths, legends and real facts"

Regardless the field you are in, once in a while you may come across a myth or a legend or some facts that happened long ago and are related with Squirrels. You may hear them from older people or from a variety of sources. You may uncover them by directly asking people you think may have this kind of knowledge, and we strongly encourage our members to try this method. We want to know them.

Send us the following information: location (any area in the world), description of the surrounding environment where the myth,legend or fact takes place, description of the Squirrels there (if available) and if it is generally perceived as a positive or a negative by the population. Then tell us the myth, legend or real fact.

"What's wrong with Squirrels?"

Squirrels are spread on a large geographical area on the Earth. Many times their habitate interfere with humans' habitate and a "clash " occurs. If you live in such an area, or you are aware of such "clashes" around your area, we want to know about it. We want to know what are the problems, how is the population's perception and attitude, if there is any legislation in this matter, what are the methods used to deal with this.

Send us the following information: location (any area in the world), description of environment and which other animals live there, description of Squirrels involved. Then tell us the problems.

"We want to know Squirrels"

This project has several chapters and is our members' individual choice in which one they want to participate. Some of the chapters require a relatively long-term commitment, while others not. While the joy and fun of studying the Squirrels can be great, it demands dedication. If you want to get involved, be prepared!

1. Family relationship.

We want to know the links between family members of Squirrels , the dynamics, the affective part. It takes 2-3 years. Here is how you do: chose an area with Squirrels that is as much as possible isolated from humans. Pick three Squirrels of two different sexes. Register them in your mind according to some features that will help you to recognize them . Determine their sex and name them. Get them close to you , but not too much, just enough that they do not fear you. Feed them often (not daily). Then follow them from the mating season on and keep a diary of your observation. Once you choose this project, we will assist you with future directions .

2. Is every Squirrel of baby-bearing age having off-springs?

This chapter takes minimum of two mating seasons. Here is how you do : Pick an area with Squirrels and not too many humans . Count the number of young Squirrels there (teenage Squirrels) and find out how many are males and how many are females. Name only the females and learn to differentiate them from each other. Visit them often and bring them food. After the first mating season, record which ones from your females give birth. Continue to see them often with food, for them and for their babies, until the second mating season. After the mating, record how many of your females are having babies (in both recordings use their names). Once you choose this chapter, we will assist you with future directions.

3. Mating

This chapter takes a minimum of two mating seasons. Here is how you do : Identify one or more Squirrels in a selected area (can be any area). Determine his/hers sex , special features so you can recognize them, and name them. Get them close enough that they do not fear you (not closer) and feed them . Observe them during their mating period and take notes about: how many different sounds they make (if any), and follow closely (may take hours or days) the whole process of mating. Record in details. If you choose this chapter, we will assist you in future.

4. Individual, personalities

This chapter takes as much time as you can afford. Here is how you do: Identify one Squirrel; then determine his approximate age and sex and some special features so you can recognize him. Give him/her a name . Then begin to make observations and take notes about: his behavior (in general and in special situations), his emotions and affections, his reactions, his psychology. You can choose to pick a number of individuals and study them to understand (and record) their different personalities.

5.Humans-Squirrels relationship

I am sure that everybody that had a very close relationship with Squirrels have a lot to write about this. It is somehow rare in the animal world (and I believe unique for wild animals) the strong bond that often occurs between Squirrels and those humans that are their true friends (a Squirrel can recognize this and can be very appreciative). We want to know in as much details as you can give the relationship between you and the Squirrel and if you found similarities with the Squirrel.

SPECIAL PROJECTS

These projects are "special" because they benefit directly the squirrels.

Build Squirrels' Houses

It is suitable as individual and as group project. Group project : this can be a good , educational school project or can be done of any other groups, accompanied by one hour of lecture about squirrels.

As the squirrels face a massive loss of habitate, their tendency is to nest in humans' houses, which can become a real problem for both . Also, in areas with unfavorable conditions for squirrels, this little humane help would be greatly appreciated. Here is how you can build a Squirrel's House:

- build a simple box from wood, with the following surfaces: two lateral parts ( 10' x 12'), one bottom part (10'x10') , one front part ( 10'x10') , one back part (15'x25') and one top part. Make a oblique cut on the upper part of both lateral parts, so the top part will cover it in an angle of 15 degrees. On both lateral parts make a corner cut on the upper side of the lower edge ( these will be two doors for squirrels), large enough that an adult squirrel can go in and out, but not larger. Orient the doors toward the front part. Use nails or screws to assemble the parts together. Whatever you use, keep in mind that it has to be a very strong structure, as raccoons or other predators may attempt to destroy it. Assemble the back part. Fix the box by the back part in a tree, as following : the tree or has to be far from buildings; the box House has to be placed up from ground at least 3.5 meters, faced to sun, away from wind. Fix the box on the tree using screws, so you can detach it in mid summer (end of June, beginning of July) for cleaning. Before detaching it, make sure that there are not new-born babies inside.If there are, do not touch it. When cleaning, wash it and use an organic sanitizer. Wash it again and rinse it properly. You can put few small branches, leaves and paper towel inside.

Feed the Squirrels

This project is beneficial for squirrels and therapeutic and enjoyable for humans. Can be done as individual or as group . Group project : it is suitable for recreational activities, school activities , joggers that are animal-lovers, and squirrels-lovers.

It is a lot of controversy and resentment involved in feeding squirrels, due to the negativity and hate of uninformed or ill-minded population. Due to the scarcity of natural resources in humane settlements, and to other factors, large areas of cities are devoided of any source of food for squirrels, so in particular the Winter months can subject them to severe starvation. One of the most heart-breaking spectacles is that of young babies, born in fall, with the appearance of living skeletons covered in almost furless skin, while city dogs, well fed and sheltered, are out on them to "make a kill".

Form your group and collect small amounts of money from each member during fall, so you are prepared to buy food in Winter. Buy bulk nuts : walnuts , almonds, hazelnuts and mix them with peanuts ( also peanut is not a nut, it is very appealing and nutritious to squirrels because its protein content). Select the areas the squirrels suffer the most and feeding them make it an weekly group activity ;or distribute the food to the members of the group and assign a different area to each member, to avoid to have overfed and hungry squirrels. Do it any other way ; it is cheap financially and highly beneficial for both , humans and squirrels.

Do not worry, you are not alone! Mr. Matthew Scully, former speech-writer for one of the US Presidents and author of "Dominion; the power of man, the suffering of animals and the call for mercy" is an avid squirrels' feeder. So are many people with intellect and conscience.

Be a local activist for Squirrels

If you are concerned about the condition or the treatment of squirrels in your area, be a voice for them. This project can be done individual and in group. Group project :

-write a letter in which the issues that face the squirrels are being presented , together with your disagreement and concern and get members of your group to sign it; send it to the local, city, municipal, provincial authorities ; propose solutions; make sure that the letter is concise, based in real facts and respectuous; send it to the local media.

- advocate on behalf of squirrels and spread the word and the knowledge about them , about their issues and their importance; do it individual or form a group.

- initiate projects beneficial to squirrels and to humans, such as this :" Use compost in your garden during winter" - collect your edible left-over from your table and use it as a natural compost in your garden for the Winter months; from salad leaves, biscuits , bread and other left-over, the soil will benefit greatly, while the squirrels will eat a portion (in this way leaving your garbage alone ) .

-write a letter signed by a group and addressed to the municipality and other authorities in charge in which you ask them , with respect, to plant more trees with edible nuts and seeds for the squirrels population in local parks. Note that this it would be of a major help to the squirrels, so put all the efforts to succeed.

An environment with starved animals is unhealthy for humans in at least two ways :1) the starved, weakened organisms can become good hosts for a number of germs that furthermore spread into the air when the animal dies 2) without us noticing, the misery around us that we can help but we do not want to clings in our psychic and affect our minds and souls.

These are our actual projects. More will follow in future.

GUIDELINES:

It is very important to:

-never undertake an action that would harm or hurt in any way the Squirrels you are observing, their habitats or their nests

-unless your project requires to be very close to Squirrels, be close, but not excessive

-do not try to catch or to grab or pet a Squirrel and do not bring young children with you , as the Squirrel may feel threatened or get too friendly with children. Also, do not ever bring a dog or another pet with you and do not ever expose your Squirrel-friend to your pets. Your pet would hurt or kill the Squirrel.

- be real and be a real friend for Squirrels. She or he will recognize this. Your project cannot be accurately completed unless is a deserved trust between you and your Squirrel(s).

The material collected should be submitted by mail only to our contact address. Please reserve first page to write your name, address, the location where your study was conducted and the period of time. Please inform as when you decide to start a Project.

NOTE: ONLY MEMBERS REGISTERED WITH US CAN PARTICIPATE IN PROJECTS.

SPECIALS:

IF YOU ARE A STUDENT FROM A COUNTRY IN WHICH $10 IS A LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY, AND YOU LOVE SQUIRRELS AND WANT TO PARTICIPATE AS MEMBER, YOUR MEMBERSHIP WILL BE $5 OR FREE .