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Fox squirrels are closely related to gray squirrels and are considered to be the most variably colored tree squirrels in the world. In South Carolina, fox squirrels occur and are characterized as the gray, black , or brown color phase based on their predominate body color.
The gray color phase is by far the most common in South Carolina, accounting for 74% of all sightings in the 2014 Fox Squirrel Sighting Survey conducted by the SCDNR Small Game Program. Sightings of black fox squirrels accounted for 24% of all sightings, with only 2% of all sightings reported as brown.
A black facial “mask” and white patches on the nose, paws, and ear tips are common in all three color phases. This facial mask and the significantly larger body size of the fox squirrel distinguish the fox squirrel from the more common and widely-distributed gray squirrel.
Learn more at SCDNR – Mammal – Species – Southern Fox Squirrel
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